I always enjoy our Sunday services at Pawleys Island Community Church and this Sunday was even more special because a life-long friend was visiting from Maryland. As often happens, God had a message just for her. She’s endured 30-plus years of trials and disappointments stemming from her husband’s struggle with drug addiction. Yet despite the sadness in her voice and the occasional tear in her eye, she could still speak of God’s faithfulness and of her gratitude for blessings in her life, mainly her two adult children, a loving son-in-law,and a home that is finally paid off just as she retires from 40 years of teaching. As our Pastor shared yesterday, we can be people who make a difference in this world if we can find and acknowledge the blessings in it. Jesus thanked His heavenly Father whenever he prayed. Jesus prayed, “Father I thank you that you have heard me” (John 11:41) as He raised His eyes to heaven and then raised Lazarus from the dead. In Luke 17:11-19 while walking along the border between Samaria and Galilee, Jesus met 10 men who had leprosy and they cried out to Him, “Jesus, Master have pity on us!” Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they went, they were healed, yet only 1 man returned to throw himself at Jesus’ feet, praising God with a loud voice. And this man was a Samaritan, an enemy of Jews.
Jesus asked if not all nine had been healed? Why did only a foreigner return to thank God for his healing? Jesus told the man that his faith had made him well.
Where are we in this story?
Are we with the nine rolling into town with high fives and cheers at our good fortune?
Are we the one running back to thank the One from whom all healing and blessings flow?
Do we live with thanksgiving on our lips?
Many psalms remind us to “give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136) It follows that our thanks should go on forever too.
Gratitude has even been proven to lessen stress. Scientists concur that the body cannot respond to anxiety and gratitude at the same time. We can feel anxious, or we can feel grateful and all of the positive emotions that are associated with it. This is basic neuroscience. Our brain operates in either “fight or flight” mode or a “rest and digest” mode. There really is something to the old adage to “count your blessings instead of sheeep.” This is where gratitude journals, lists of things you’re grateful for, and morning or evening prayers or prayers before meals are all ways to keep our bodies less stressed, and feeling blessed (sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme).
If you need more proof about the benefits of gratitude and its effects on the brain and body, please make plans to join us for our one day Brain Bootcamp on Saturday, September 23 at PICC from 9 am to 4pm. The event is FREE but registration is required. Sign up by September 20 by clicking below:
I would be remiss if I did not take a few sentences to thank YOU, our faithful followers, supporters, monthly donors, prayer partners, ministry partners, church family, relatives, business associates, ministry volunteers, bakers and friends who partner with us to serve those in need here in Pawleys Island and Georgetown. We are so blessed by you all and so privileged to serve with you in the name of Jesus to bring hope and healing, joy and gratitude. Enjoy this video from Brandon Lake and know that we at NBISC “thank God upon every rememberance of you.” Philippians 1:3.