“Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19
But one man turns.
There are three different words used in this passage to indicate wellness.
What is it about gratitude that is so healing?
Evidence is growing about the positive ways in which gratitude affects your state of mind. Cultivating thankfulness increases your level of happiness and satisfaction in life, your ability to reach your goals, and the quality of your relationships. But studies are also showing that high levels of gratitude also correlate to increased health on both the physical and psychological level.
Apparently something different happened with this man. He was a Samaritan, who was not only afflicted by leprosy but also looked down upon because of his status as a foreigner. And yet – it was his faith on the inside, pivoting on that fulcrum of gratitude, that mirrored the healing that Jesus had caused to happen on the outside.
But was it this one miraculous act of healing that caused his sudden orientation toward gratitude? Was it this sudden cure that caused his faith? That’s certainly possible, but not likely, given that the other nine had the same experience and had no pivoting pause.
It’s more likely that this man had cultivated his gratitude for many years.
As Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
Who is the most grateful person you know?Who for you exemplifies the kind of faith that pivots on a fulcrum of gratitude? The one who is so steeped in thankfulness, that no matter what happens, they are able to trust the goodness of God? The person whose gratitude is more than skin deep?
Who models for you what it looks like to act in a way that aligns with this goodness and trust? Which person in your life comes to mind as someone who inspires you to pivot on a fulcrum of gratitude? Have you shared with them how much they inspire you? How much you are grateful for them? Have you taken steps to follow what they have modeled for you?
I was once in a pastor’s Bible study about this text. One of my colleagues shared with me a question – one that another friend posed to him:
What would you have this morning if all you had was what you gave thanks for yesterday?
Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary (Kentucky) and author of the book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit(Chalice Press, 2015).
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