[forthright] Falling on Our Faces

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From: Randal Matheny <randalm@...>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 10:24:17 -0200
Forthright Magazine

Yesterday, I accidently sent an article through the old
Topica list. To avoid it happening again, I deleted all
the addresses from it. So many of you got a notice that
you had been removed from the Topica list. Never fear:
you're still good for the associate.com list, and will
continue to receive great articles like Tim's. --Editor

Falling on Our Faces
by Tim Hall

"I think a lot of people believe I'm going to fall flat
on my face." The quote is from Christine Wren, taken
from an interview in WomenSports magazine, October
1975. She was the second female umpire in professional
baseball, and was vowing not to fail in her quest. It's
a phrase often heard; it seems no one wants to fall
flat on their faces.

Maybe we should reconsider. Such an action might lead
to a commendation from the Lord.

Luke recorded the incident in which ten men afflicted
with leprosy cried out to Jesus for cleansing. Jesus
responded graciously, and sent them on their way to see
the priest. As they left, they still bore the marks of
their illness. Along the way, however, "they were
cleansed" (Luke 17:14, New King James Version). The men
must have been overjoyed; who wouldn't be delirious
with happiness after being cured of so dreadful a

Only one, however, returned to Jesus. Luke says of him,
"Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed,
returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell
down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he
was a Samaritan" (vv. 15,16). Look again, and fix the
scene in your mind: The man was lying on the ground
with his face in the sand at the feet of Jesus. Such
was his expression of gratitude to the Lord.

Jesus commented first on the fact that nine lepers had
not returned to give thanks. Then he spoke directly to
the one who had not forgotten from whence his blessings
came: "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you
well" (v. 19).

It is an act of faith to give thanks to God. Our
neighbors attribute their bounty to the labor of their
hands, or perhaps to "good fortune". Christ's disciples
know better. We realize that all our good gifts come
from the Father. We cannot continue on our way until we
have taken time to give Him thanks.

And how shall that thanks be given? As a friend might
casually thank his pal? Preposterous! This is the Lord
of Glory! This is the One to Whom we owe our very
lives. It is a privilege just to lie prostrate at His
feet. Our humility is strong, but our sense of
thanksgiving constrains us to come to Him. We must give
Him thanks!

Yes, I need to learn to fall flat on my face, if it is
the example of the Samaritan I have in mind. It shows
the kind of response to blessings that the Lord seeks.