In our practice, we care for some patients who come to us through a ministry called Samaritan's Touch.
This program began this year by offering medical care to those who have no insurance and do not make enough money to pay for regular visits. It is rewarding to help others whether they say thank you or not, but it is an added blessing when people stop and tell us how much this means to them. This is the fuel which keeps the fire of service burning.
If we feel blessed when people take the time to say "thank you", think how much more our heavenly Father is delighted when we return praise to Him for all His many blessings to us. Luke recounts the story of Jesus and ten lepers in chapter 17 verses 11-19 that illustrates this point: "On the way to Jerusalem, He was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.' When He saw them, He said to them, 'Go and show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, 'Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this 'foreigner?' And He said to him, 'Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.'" Only one out of ten returned to say "thanks" to God for what He had done. In addition, the man was a Samaritan considered an outsider in society of that time. None of the others professed their thankfulness to Jesus. It is my surmise that not only did Jesus heal his body but He also healed His heart by regenerating his soul to believe. As a result, he received a greater blessing than those who were only healed physically.
How often do we forget to say thank you and render praise to God for the things He has done for us? When it is something big, we may remember, but in the small things, we frequently forget like those ten lepers. According to the Apostle Paul, we are to avoid being anxious about our lives and instead pray about everything with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:5-6). This brings about a peace which surpasses all understanding and guards our hearts and minds (vs. 7). Being thankful has its benefits. It is a new way of living, loving and caring not only in our relationship to God but also in our relationship with our fellow man.