Speaking of Life 4046 | Good Gift
A couple of years back my son Gatlin proposed to his long-time sweetheart, Erin in a unique way. Under the guise of taking a family walk after dinner with mom, dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews we found ourselves on the putting green of hole number 5 at Cramer Mountain Golf Club.
As the small kids putted golf balls around Gatlin nestled up to Erin around the hole and slid down to one knee. He presented a shiny white gold ring with a diamond, but before Erin’s attention went to the ring her tear-filled eyes were fixed on Gatlin and her enraptured hug enveloped him as her feet left the ground. Undoubtedly the ring got her attention, and she proudly wore it and flashed it around every chance she got.
What stood out to me was that Erin was receiving Gatlin the man who gave the ring, over and above the ring itself. The ring was great, but life-changing only because of the giver – the person behind the gift.
I think this is a workable metaphor for what’s going on in Luke 17 when Jesus heals some lepers. If you remember the story, ten lepers are healed by Jesus. They are told to present themselves to the priest as was customary of the law for cleansed lepers. But only one turns back to praise God and thank Jesus for the healing. There is more going on here than a man showing good social graces. All ten received healing from leprosy, but this one man received so much more. His praise and thankfulness was an expression of receiving the one who had healed him. He received the healing, and he received the healer.
That’s one reason scripture so often tells us to praise God and offer thanksgiving. We are being invited to receive and enjoy the Lord who gives himself to us.
Here is a segment of one Psalm that does just that:
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power,
your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you;
they sing praises to you,
sing praises to your name.” Selah
Psalm 66:1-4 (NRSV)
We can be thankful for the good things the Lord gives us – and they are many. But let’s never miss out on receiving the good Lord himself. After all, he offers himself with every gift he gives.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.