Luke 17 12 – 18 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Whenever we are in a restaurant, I try to make a point of saying “Thank you” to our waiter or waitress. After all, they are on their feet for hours at a time. Their backs hurt. Their feet hurt. Still, they do all they can to make sure we have what we need to enjoy our meals.
So what if they get paid to do it? It’s still nice to say thanks.
Once, a waitress stopped and told me, “Thanks for saying thanks. You’d be surprised at how few people say ‘Thank you’ any more.”
Judging from this story, saying “Thank you” hasn’t ever been a priority for many people. Jesus healed ten men. Why? Because they begged him to. He was tired. He had people pawing at Him left and right, asking Him for things. Still, He did as they asked.
He sent them to the priest, and they were cleansed of their sickness.
And only one of them came back to say “Thank You.” And he wasn’t even Jewish.
I wonder . . . would I have come back?
After all, those men were excited. Before Jesus came along, they were doomed. They had resigned themselves to a life of misery. Leprosy was the worst thing that could happen to a person at that time – even worse than cancer. These men were outcasts. They had to stay away from society, and if anyone approached, they had to yell, “Leper!” They were suffering immense pain, and they had no one to even comfort them.
But suddenly, they were healed! They had many people they wanted to tell. They wanted to kiss their wives and hug their children and get on with their lives! They probably didn’t mean to ignore Jesus’ kindness. In their excitement, they just forgot.
But the kindnesses shown to us, both large and small, are important. They make our lives better. And no one – especially not God – is obligated to do anything for us. When God blesses us, it is simply out of His goodness. The least I can do is say “Thank You.”
It really doesn’t matter how busy or distracted or preoccupied I am. I need to make time to express my gratitude to God and to others.
Especially God. Like those lepers, God has shown enormous grace to me. Without His goodness, I don’t want to even think about where my life would be.
I hope I never have to find out.
Dear Father, Thank You. Thank You for every good thing You’ve done for me – too many to list here. Help me to remember to express my gratitude to You and others.