Gratitude

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 17:11-19

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Ps. 103:2)

We’re forgetful creatures by nature. Car keys, cell phones, birthdays, passwords, and the name of the person you just met five minutes earlier are all minor irritants when we forget them, but forgetting the goodness of God in our lives can have more serious consequences. Jesus healed ten lepers in today’s story, but only one remembered to thank him.

I recently had a computer problem. My documents, spreadsheets, photos, and emails were all there on my computer, but because part of the hard drive had been corrupted, I could not access them. Sometimes it’s like that in the Christian life: God’s goodness and promises are undeniably there in our past, but we cannot derive comfort from them because our access to them is blocked.

Blocked by what? There are as many answers to that as there are believers who ask the question. Preoccupations, distractions, stress, fear, anxiety, the list is endless. What to do? “Forget not all his benefits.” Or we might say, “Don’t listen to yourself; talk to yourself.”

“Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious?” This is what the psalmist asked when he was listening to himself (Ps. 77:8-9). But just a few verses later, he talked to himself: “I will remember your wonders of old . . . and meditate on your mighty deeds” (vv. 11-12).

PRAYER

Help us, when we are anxious, to meditate on the wonders of your goodness and mercy.