give thanks in joy.

i rave about she reads truth all the time, but no other site or app or book constantly challenges and encourages me in my daily walk. today is the first day of the she reads truth: give thanks in all circumstances plan. the scripture reading is the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. back then, lepers were considered ceremonially unclean, which required them to keep their distance from other people, essentially making them outcasts in the community. i can imagine the shame and pain they felt, the burden of being looked at like filth. but when they saw Jesus, they cried out to Him, begging for mercy and healing.

i gotta stop right there. while studying this text, i started wondering how they knew who Jesus was? how did they know He could heal them? how did they know? the only logical answer i can think of is someone had to tell them about Jesus. whoever that person was had to get close enough to tell them His miracles and tell them what He had been doing. knowing they were unclean, that person didn't let it stop them from telling the lowest of the low about this man named Jesus. it took boldness, and i find it beautiful.

so they are crying out to Jesus. makin' somewhat of a scene, i reckon. some are probably thinking they lost their marbles; others might be looking at who they are shouting to. but the lepers don't care. they shouted and cried, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 

He looked at them. He didn't ignore them. He didn't pretend to be busy fixing His clothes or talking to the disciples. He looked right at them and said, "go show yourselves to the priests." the priests are the ones who decide whether or not they are deemed ceremonially clean. so they went to the priest. scripture doesn't say they hesitated or asked why. they simply did what Jesus said and were cleansed.

but the story doesn't stop there. my eyes welled up with tears when i read verses fifteen and sixteen. "one of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, 'praise God!' He fell to the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking Him for what He had done."  

he came back to Jesus. one of the healed lepers, seeing he was no longer unclean, went back to give praise and thanks to Jesus.

but how many times am i like the other nine? i pray, weep, and long for something. i cast my worries and cares at my Father's feet, and trust that in His time, He will answer. and then when He does, what do i do?  maybe throw a "praise the Lord!" out there or tweet "God is SO good!"

i want to be like the healed man.

as i turn to God in times of need, i will turn to Him in times of joy as well.
i will shout praises to Him. i will thank Him for what He has done.

i will come back and give Him the glory because He alone is worthy of my praise.


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