A ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad, was involved in a rescue and recovery effort. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him. (Illustration from Our Daily Bread, February 20, 1994.)
This reminds me of the story in Luke 17. Ten lepers were healed by Jesus but only one thanked him. I have often wondered why the other nine lepers did not return to thank Jesus for making them whole. Could it be because they were skeptical of how long the healing would last? Could it be that they thought they would get around to it someday? Could it be that some thought they would have been ok without healing anyway? Could it be because some thought anyone could have healed them? I am sure all nine had excuses, because only one turned to say thank you. I know how convenient it is to fall into the category of the nine…I am guilty.
I would like to thank you, Jesus, on behalf of the other 9, but I can’t. For me to do that would be hypocritical. Why would I thank someone else for something they did for someone else, when I have not thanked those who do so much on my behalf? It’s time to do away with the smoke screens and be real concerning having a thankful heart. Join me this week as I thank those closest to me, which do the most for me, in heartfelt thanks. The trickle effect will be amazing.
Have a Glorious Thanksgiving!