Thanksgiving is a time when even those who don’t regularly practice gratitude try to. Social media posts are filled with challenges to be grateful for something every day, while others post funny turkey cartoons wanting to spread some laughter and joy. It’s the one time a year that we emphasize remembering the details in life that really matter and for which we should be most grateful. There is something about gratitude that compels us. We want to give to those who have given to us.
In 2 Kings 4:8-17, we read of one such event. Elisha, on many occasions, travels through the town of Shunem. Each time, an unnamed woman invites him to stop in for a hot meal before continuing on his journey. She senses that he is a man of God and wants to bless him. So she talks with her husband, and they build a room especially for him so that when he passes through, he not only can have a meal but a place to stay and refresh.
This act of generosity so impacts Elisha that he asks his servant to call her so he can speak to her. He asks her, “is there anything I can do for you?” But because she gave her gift out of pure generosity and with no expectation of reciprocation, she responds with “no. My family takes good care of me.” She wanted nothing in return, only to be a blessing.
Her response made Elisha more determined. He asked his servant, “what can we do for her?” Gehazi, his servant, perceived a great need. She had no child, and her husband was old. She may not need anything now, but without a son, her future might look very different.
So Elisha calls her back and tells her, “next year at this time, you will be holding a son in your arms!” She cried out, “No, my lord! O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.” But the scripture says that sure enough, by that time the following year, she was holding a son.
Friends, it was gratitude that prompted her miracle. It was gratitude that brought back to life a dead dream. It was gratitude that did the impossible. Saints, let gratitude birth your miracle. And this time next year, we can testify once more to the goodness of God, continuing the blessing of Thanksgiving.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Jaime Luce