I have a habit of making lists of things I am thankful for. I put the list in my pocket, and carry it with me. I pull it out and re-read it. As a disciple of Jesus, He has given me much to be thankful for!
I was taught thankfulness by my parents. They trained me to say the words, "Thank you." Whenever I received a gift, my mother would make me write a thank you note to the giver. Thank you, mom, for doing this.
My parents had thankful hearts. I remember my mother telling me how, when a little girl, she once received an orange from her parents as a Christmas gift. That was it! Her family was poor. She treasured the gift, and was thankful.
Whenever someone helped my dad by lending him a tool, or working on a project, I could see gratitude on his face, and in the way he talked about the people who helped him. Dad lent tools out to many people. At his funeral, I addressed the people and said, "If any of you has some of my father's tools, please return them."
The attitude of a disciple is one of gratitude. I could never understand the ingratitude of nine of the ten lepers in Luke 17. They see Jesus, and call from a distance because they are unclean, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" The Greek word for 'pity' is eleison, like "Kyrie eleison" - "Lord, have mercy!" "Bend down to our level and rescue us!"
He does. Jesus heals them. And then, nine of them just walk away, without saying even a simply "Thanks for the healing."
Then we read: One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him... And here is the shocker - he was a Samaritan.
When I wake in the morning, get out of bed, walk down the stairs, prepare breakfast, I find myself, in my mind, and sometimes whispering quietly, these words: "Thank you." Jesus rescued me and became my lifetime Mentor. Thank you!
For Linda and I, one of our Christian heroes is Dallas Willard. Even though we never met him, he is a mentor to us. Not just with his words, but with his life. We both read Gary Moon's excellent book on Willard. Gary Black, one of Dallas's close friends, was with Dallas when he died. Moon writes:
"Then, as Gary [Black] describes, “in a voice clearer than I had heard in days, he leaned his head back slightly and with his eyes closed said, ‘Thank you.’” Gary did not feel that Dallas was talking to him, but to another presence that Dallas seemed to sense in the room." (Moon, Becoming Dallas Willard, p. 240)
Thank You Jesus.
I bless you with a renewed heart of gratitude.
I am going through this day with a heart overflowing with thankfulness.
My constant attitude is one of gratitude to God.
I remember what God has done for me and given me.
I am thankful for knowing Jesus, my Lord and my Savior!
I have lists of things to thank God for.
The words "Thank you" are never far from my lips.
I throw myself at the feet of Jesus, and praise Him, with thanksgiving!
(From my book 31 Letters to the Church on Discipleship.)