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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Good Success NOVEMBER 24


Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. Luke 17:17, 18.

Someone made the observation that there are two kinds of people—those who are unhappy about what life has done for them or denied them, and those who are grateful for what it has done for them. The outward circumstances in both cases may be pretty much the same. The kind of response has little to do with how much of this world's goods one has. While self-pity is not unique among the poor and the sick, gratitude does not flourish automatically in an atmosphere of comfort and ease. The idea that thankfulness in life is spontaneously evoked by outward circumstances, dependent upon the fortunes of life, is false. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The story of the ten lepers portrays these two kinds of people. All of them were miraculously healed by our Lord. Nine of them took it for granted. What kind of people were they? The one leper returned to give thanks and praise to God. Jesus did not need the man's gratitude. He was not injured or upset by the failure of the nine to respond. But gratitude and praise to God reveal a certain quality of spirit. In actual fact, only the one man who turned back to God was completely healed in both body and mind.

We can be apparently well in body but far from health in mind. We should never feel sorry for ourselves, believing that life has been too hard on us. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, in one of his poems enters heaven with Christ. He describes himself with his motley crew of homeless, ragged, hungry, and deprived. They have gathered in the square of the heavenly city to hold a Salvation Army service. Down the street they come, those who have come from the dregs of society, women who have fallen, men who have gambled their lives away, all of them trophies of the grace of Christ. They halt at the square for prayer and praise.

What is your song today? What is the note from your heart? What tune will you sound in the home, at school, or at work? Some light and jazzy music from the modern library of music? Or some great hymn from Calvary's page? What better thanks can you give than to make our life a praise to God?

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