The expression “you don’t know what you had until its gone” often hits home over the holidays. Each year death takes away someone or something special from our lives. Unfortunately, when life is going well, people forget to be grateful. Take for example the Israelites, freed from 400 years of oppression and slavery. Yet, this wasn’t enough as hungry stomachs led to complaining and grumbling. When God answered their prayers in the form of manna, bread from heaven, the magic of this miracle soon wore off, craving more. As quail arrived, sent by the Lord, the Israelites forgot to thank the One providing the blessings.
The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD‘s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death,” Exodus 16:3.
Doctors tend to notice certain details that most individuals miss. In the case of Luke, a first century physician, his version of the Healing of 10 Lepers mentions an unique observation. Leprosy attacks the vocal cords, limiting one’s ability to project their voices. One of the ten healed by Jesus was overcome by emotion, crying out at the top of his lungs for the first time in years. While Jesus is disappointed that only one person came back to thank him, Luke highlights the immediate healing experienced by this man. The other nine took their speech for granted, yet one man did not miss the opportunity to thank the One who performed this blessing.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” – Luke 17:15-18
On Thanksgiving Day, hearts and minds tend to be fixed on cooking, football or shopping. Instead of slowing down to enjoy life, the pursuit of happiness causes souls to search for self-gratification. This exercise usually leads to disappointment or emptiness. Therefore, this year on this sacred day, make sure you take the time to thank the good Lord above for all the blessings in this life. If you don’t, you will miss a golden opportunity to prepare your heart to catch the spirit of Christmas, with good tidings and great joy to all!
by Jay Mankus