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Be the One Leper

By, Lysandra Osterkamp

“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back,

and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet,

giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.”

Luke 17:15-16

​I was running errands again! It seems that the errands are never-ending for a mom. There’s always somewhere to drive whether it’s picking the kids up, grocery shopping, or returning the clothes that my daughters refuse to wear.

​I often use this time in the car to talk to God. As I was praying, asking for God to intervene in a dicey situation I was facing, my heart was smitten. I realized I had been praying for His help in that particular situation for several days and several times each day. (There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, we’re supposed to come to Him with everything.)

​The reason conviction came over me is I realized I had been terribly ungrateful. I had been asking God for help continuously without thanking Him for the other ways I had witnessed Him intervene in other areas.

I immediately thought of the ten lepers. When Jesus came across these ten men who were ostracized from their community due to this deadly disease, He heard their distant plea. “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Jesus gave them instructions that were in keeping with the law. As they obeyed Him, He cleansed them from their leprosy.

​Jesus miraculously healed them. Just like that, their entire lives were changed. Now they could reunite with their family. They could go back to working to make a living. They now were able to return to society. Loneliness was now behind them. Because of Jesus, they no longer faced immanent death.

​Jesus changed their lives! He gave them hope for new life. Yet, nine of these men didn’t have gratitude cross their minds. They kept on walking. They had no desire to turn this answered prayer into thanksgiving. It saddens me. What saddens me the most is that I identify with these nine ungrateful lepers.

​There is one leper who realizes Jesus deserves thanksgiving and praise. He turns around and takes the time to thank Jesus. He gives Jesus the praise which is rightfully His. This grateful leper falls at Jesus feet giving Him praise.

​Jesus’ response is haunting. “Were there not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” He speaks in a disappointing tone about those who left with their prayer answered and yet had no gratitude.

​That day, I was driving around, running my errands, and giving God my prayer requests one after another. I was reminded to stop the constant begging and turn previously answered prayer into thanksgiving. I spoke out loud in my mini van “I want to be the one leper!” I received some unusual looks from my girls.

​What about you? Are you like the nine lepers who had no desire to recognize or appreciate Jesus’ healing, miracles, and blessings? Do you catch yourself asking for your next need before thanking Him for the last answered prayer?

Are you like the one leper? Is thankfulness part of your daily prayer life? Do you take a moment from making your prayer requests to praise the One who answers prayer? Thanksgiving should be an immediate response to God’s daily blessings. Be the one leper.

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