It’s the month of Thanksgiving, which provides a wonderful opportunity for us to be reminded about the importance of expressing thanks, both to each other, and to our heavenly Father.
In Luke 17, we see a recorded story in which Jesus Christ came across 10 lepers on His way to Jerusalem. The lepers, standing at a distance as was required by law, shouted to Christ the words, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
With a simple command, “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” Christ then miraculously healed them. On their way to the priests, the ones who in that day had the duty to pronounce that someone had indeed been cured of an illness, these lepers suddenly realized that they had indeed been healed.
Upon this realization, only one of them responded with the simple act of returning to Christ to thank Him for this life-changing miracle. As you understand the severity with which lepers were outcasts from all society, you realize just how life-changing this was for these men. They could now return to their families, to their jobs, and to society at large!
Luke records Jesus making note that the other nine did not return to thank Him for what He’d done for them, and also the fact that this “foreigner,” a term often used for those outside of the Jewish faith, is the only one who did return to appreciate Christ.
If I am truly honest, I much more often align with those “other nine.” I’m quick to throw my pressing needs up to the Father, and to plead for His sovereign power to intervene.
And in the heat of the moment and the desperation of the conversation, I am truly grateful for His power and the fact that the Father hears our prayer. However, I’m sometimes far too slow to remember to express my appreciation for what the Father has done, and I sometimes forget it altogether, as this chaotic culture drives the next obstacle into our path.
The other day, after going out to eat for dinner as a family with my wife and four daughters, we were on the way home when one of my girls said, “Dad, thanks for taking us out to eat.” The others quickly chimed in and expressed their appreciation, too.
They sometimes do this, but it’s honestly not something my wife and I really harp on after dinner out. So, it was somewhat heart-warming that, without provocation, my young daughter would intentionally and meaningfully express her appreciation for a night out at a restaurant.
It was also a subtle reminder for me to thank God for the little things, not just the big miracles.
This season provides a great reminder for us to circle back to express our appreciation. This is important in our relationship with God, as we express appreciation for all the incredible things He has done and continues to do.
It’s also important in our earthly relationships. Who can you thank today, whether for something big or something small?
Brett Myers is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island. FBCHHI.org