Thirty years ago, with gratitude, I moved to be near my now-husband.
But from day one, I desired to relocate back to my beloved mountains.
I fantasized about it, dreamt of it, cried over it—for years.
Until I finally got miserable enough to open my ears to Heaven.
Up to that moment, I did most of the talking. Finally, desperate enough to listen, what I heard was not easy.
“My Creation has become your obsession.”
I so desired the beauty of God’s creation, I may as well have sculpted a mountainous image and worshiped it.
But thanks to the practice of gratitude, I appreciate where I live.
I now notice the magnificent trees and delicate flowers, attend fondly to the melodic birdsong, and bask in the beauty of airbrushed sunsets.
Have you ever wanted something so badly, it became your sole focus?
Ten men who encountered Jesus did.
As He entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Luke 17:12-13
Against all social protocol, they called out in desperation. And Jesus, being compassion and mercy embodied, healed these desolate, despairing men.
When He saw them He said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests. Luke 17:14
But wait; it doesn’t say He healed them, it says He saw them.
I wonder what He saw? Was it just their sores and bandages, slumped shoulders and hanging heads, shame and degradation, or utter loneliness and hopelessness?
Or was there something more? Did he peer into their past, seeing devoted spouses or smiling children, diligent work ethic maybe, or perhaps meager but joyful family dinners around the table filled with stories and laughter?
Or possibly regrets: hardships giving way to harsh words, the stresses of oppressive domination giving rise to bitterness, or poverty leading to survival by any means?
Could He perceive when the first spot was discovered, the first sense of lost feeling? The anguish of knowing life was about to change forever:
- families torn apart
- pain and destitution
We aren’t told what He saw, but other encounters hint that His eyes likely penetrated the depths of their depravity, becoming acquainted not only with the affliction of their bodies but the anguish of their souls.
While He instructed the men to go show themselves to the priests. He did not say, “Your faith has made you well”, or, “I am willing, be clean.” He said simply, “Go.” So they went.
It wasn’t until they obeyed that they received healing.
Then, another plot twist; one returns to Jesus in grateful, humble adoration while the others continued on their way.
Is there something amiss; a deeper truth to be uncovered? After all, the others only did as commanded.
I think the focal point isn’t the nine, but the one that remembered the God who returned life to his decaying body and bankrupt spirit, coming to his Redeemer with heartfelt thanks.
This man, a Samaritan, was brave enough to run back to the God who healed him.
And what did Jesus do? Affirmed him, declaring, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
But, does Jesus’ declaration mean the others weren’t healed?
Or, was there a broader regeneration that the other nine would never experience?
A soul healed, a spirit renewed, a mind transformed, something deeper we’ll never fully understand?
Whatever this man experienced, I have to believe he experienced something deeper.
Because gratitude ministers to the caverns in our soul.
It lifts us to God, where He is seated, and we then get a “heavenly view” of our situation.
We see how big He is, how capable, how willing and merciful, how tender and compassionate, how wise and loving He is. When we see Him high and lifted up; we experience “glory vision.”
Like the angels, we catch glimpses of His glory, His power and His love, as those who experienced Him on earth did, and our faith is strengthened in ways not fully understood.
This is what I believe the one man who returned got to experience: the utter joy of his salvation.
Gratitude changed me. I see more vibrance in colors, goodness in people, and zest in life—not always, but more often.
Friend, what do you want Jesus to do for you?
Whatever it is, know this: Jesus sees with His all-knowing, tender, compassion-filled eyes.
He is ready to move; His next move could be in our asking.
Perhaps today’s your day to ask, lean in, listen, then wait.
And when answers seem miles away, find one thing to thank Him for, and write it down.
His fierce love for you, His protection, His care, His unwavering presence?
Jesus is deeply touched by our gratitude, and the enemy is shaken by it. But more importantly, we are changed by it.