Thanks a lot. No really, thanks!

If you received a check for $10,000 in the mail today, how thankful would you be? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure you would be able to hear me hootin' and hollerin' from miles away.

Now what if you opened your mailbox and inside was a $5 check. How excited would you be?

Imagine going to the doctor and being told the news: You have cancer. After months of radiation and chemotherapy, your doctor tells you that you are in remission. How incredibly awesome would that be!

But what if you were suffering from a simple cold, and after a weekend on the couch sipping hot soup and cuddling under blankets you were all better by Monday? Would you blog, Tweet, or Facebook the news to everyone?

Being thankful is a funny thing. It is super easy to be thankful when the "big" stuff happens in our lives. When a check comes in the mail to help pay the bills, the doctors declares you free of cancer, or you get a new job, thankfulness is a no-brainer. But it seems less likely that we bang the gongs of gladness when the "regular" things occur to us. You know, like having food on the table, getting a thoughtful card in the mail, spending time with friends, or having a car that runs halfway decent.

What if you were suffering from an incurable skin disease like leprosy, one that basically made your fingers, toes, and nose fall off? If you had that disease 2,000 years ago, you would have been isolated from the rest of society, forced to live with others just like you for fear that you were too contagious to be mainstreamed. There was no hope, no cure for you. It would take a miracle at best.

In Luke 17:11-18, Jesus encountered 10 lepers who spoke to Him from a distance (remember, they had to stay in their buffer zone). They asked Jesus for mercy so He told them to go present themselves to the priests, which was an unusual request because you normally presented yourself to the priests after your skin condition got better (which it never did), not before. But these 10 men listened and started to move anyway. Suddenly, their leprosy was gone. They had been healed! It was a miracle!

How would you have responded in that situation? There is no way I could have kept silent. I would want to tell everyone what had happened to me. But that's not what happened in our story. You see, only one of the ten men "returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God." That strikes me as odd because being healed of anything, much less leprosy, is a huge deal. Yet only one paused to thank God for what had been done for him.

I am going to be totally honest with you: I am a lot more like those 9 other guys who didn't return to Jesus to thank Him than I am the one who did. Everyday I am blessed with God's provision and blessing and as I read these verses it struck me just how thankless I have become. It seems I have come to  point in my life where I simply expect certain things to go my way and the only time I react is when they don't.

God is my provider. He is your provider too. You should be just as thankful for the few coins in your pocket as you are for the bonus check you get at work. The box of macaroni sitting in your pantry should fill you with just as much thanksgiving as the $100 gift card you receive to your favorite restaurant. If you can pin point all the things that you have earned completely on your own apart from God's provision and guidance, then you can set those things aside and pat yourself on the back later. But when you realize that your stack is empty and will always be that way, it's time for you and for me to open the doors of our heart in praise and thanksgiving to the one who provides for us even down to the most menial of needs.

To God be the glory, great things (and small things) He has done (and continues to do for us all).

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