It’s a story about a man named Edmond Dontez escapes from the Cheteau D’if, which is like the Alcatraz of France. Exhausted and wave-battered from his getaway he wakes up on the beach of a far off island to find that he has been discovered by a group of pirates. The pirates had come ashore this secluded landmass to burry one of their men alive, because he had stolen from the rest of the crew.
The other pirates affectionately referred to the thief as “The Maggot.” There were some within the crew that didn’t think he should die, while others had already begun digging his grave.
Upon seeing straggly Dontez, the captain had a thought on how to settle the dispute. He Commanded a knife duel to the death between The Maggot and Dontez.
So the fighting began and with a few swift moves Edmond pinned to the thief to the ground. The he said to him,
“If you wish to live, don’t make a move.”
Edmond then bartered with the captain for both of their lives.
The captain granted his wish, and the defeated man got up and grabbed Dontez by his rags-for-clothing and said, “I swear on all of my dead relatives, even the ones that aren’t feeling so well, I will be your man forever.”
As the story progressed, sure enough the Maggot followed Edmond Dontez the rest of his life helping find treasure, defeat powers and win back his one true love.
That is great a picture of gratitude and dedication. His entire life became one big, “thank you.”
Psalm 100 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart.”
Again, David says in Psalm 107, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.”
And then in Luke 17 we read about ten men who were healed by Jesus of their leprosy. Out of those ten men only one came back to give thanks and Jesus said, “Where are the other nine?” He was the only one willing to take time to go back and say “thank you.” Because of that Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.“
Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that? I mean like the others, the man was already healed of his leprosy from the time they went to show themselves to the priest. But when Jesus says to this one man, “Your faith has made you well,” he wasn’t just talking about a physical healing, he was talking about a spiritual one, a mental one. He was made whole.
We too are made whole by our attitude of thanksgiving. Psychologists today tell us that sincere gratitude, is the healthiest of all human emotions. Hans Selye, who is considered the father of stress studies, has said that gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than any other attitude in life.
And a thankful heart will endear others to us and us to others.
For you see, thanksgiving is not only good for the giver but also good for the receiver. God appreciates our thanksgiving. It lifts Him up and it glorifies Him. And thanksgiving endears Him to us. It draws us closer.
So how to can we say thanks to God?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Spend time with Him (more than the 1 hour at church)
- When you forgive others
- When you serve in His church
- When you reach out to hurting people
- By giving God the best of your time, talents and treasures
- Praise Him enthusiastically from the heart
- Revel in His joy by keeping Him the center of our life
All of these show gratitude to God because they are focused on someone other than ourselves. God is greatly praised, and therefore thanked, when we mimic Him.
I too am like The Magit, forever grateful to the one that has saved my life.