In these next few days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, I’d like to share a few thoughts on the topic for which the holiday was named. All too often we neglect to express thanks to God or others for their kindness and generosities, whether small or great. What a great time to stop and remember that thankfulness is an important theme in God’s Word and should be in our lives as well.
I’m not sure why we don’t express thanks more than what we do, but we aren’t the only ones. In Luke 17:11-19, we’re told a story of Jesus healing ten people with the disease of leprosy. However, in the end only one returned to Jesus to thank him, and more importantly, to give God the glory for the miracle (v. 18). But why only one? Weren’t the others grateful at being healed of such an insidious disease? Someone has suggested the excuses they might have used:
One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, “O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
One said, “I was already much improved.” (Charles L. Brown, Content The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3.)
Let’s not follow the example of the nine, but the one. Let us look for excuses to be thankful and to express it to those around us and, most importantly, to the One who is the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17).