Posted in Luke

Saying “Thanks”

“Jesus asked, Didn’t I heal ten men?  Where are the other nine?’” Luke 17:17

Jesus marvels at the ungratefulness of the human race.  Ten cried out in great distress; ten were miraculously healed by the mercy of God; yet only one returned to say, “thank you.”

In 1987 I was a youth pastor in Grand de tour, Illinois, and we were doing a fundraiser in a town 30 miles away from our church.  After we packed up the teens and took off, a seventh grade girl called my wife at our apartment and explained that she had missed the bus, but still wanted to go.  Could Alice pick her up and drive her to the event?

Alice felt compassion for her and agreed to do it even though it would be difficult.  It meant loading up our two little ones, driving 15 minutes in the wrong direction, and then 45 miles to get to the event.  It took most of the morning to do this good deed.

I went to the car after she dropped off the girl, and Alice looked disappointed.  “She didn’t even say, thanks,” was the explanation.  Alice was happy to make the sacrifice and she wasn’t looking for gas money, but couldn’t this girl recognize that someone had gone out of their way just for her? Couldn’t she take two seconds to say, “thanks?”

Alice was disappointed, but I was enraged.  Later that day I was alone in our apartment fuming over the ungratefulness of this seventh grade girl when a stream of thoughts came unbidden into my mind, “Why are you so angry at her?  You do this to Me all the time.”

My heart was cut and all my anger was instantly gone.  I looked around our apartment and it was as if my eyes were opened.  We had almost no money, yet our apartment was fully furnished.  There was a story behind everything we owned.

“God, please forgive me,” I prayed, and then purposed to make up for all of my ingratitude. “Thank You for this coffee table; thank You for our dining room table and chairs, we don’t deserve any of this, yet You have provided them in Your great love.”  Then I went piece by piece and thanked Him for every item in our apartment.  Ever since that time I’ve tried to count my blessings and cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving.  I want to be like the one who came back, don’t you?