Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Two Little Words

     Common courtesy in our world seems to have gone the way of the "Edsel", hula hoops, and penny candy.  It is rare to hear someone say "thank you" when they have received some kindness.  Indeed, many today believe they are entitled to certain services, and therefore, they do not need to give any expression of gratitude.  If only they realized how powerful those words really are, they would not forget to say them.
     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.
     As we start this new year, we need to begin to say "Thank you" both to God for His many blessings, but also, to those around us as well.  Begin by telling your spouse "thank you" for his/her help around the house.  Thank your children for helping you with chores and teach them to say "thank you" when others help them.  Adopting this attitude of a grateful heart changes the way we live and think.  A good book on this subject is Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts" which tells her journey of developing a grateful heart.  A friend challenged her to make a list of one thousand things for which she was thankful to God, and it radically changed her.  Each of us would do well to keep such a list as we journey through everyday circumstances this year.  "Thank you" is just two little words that usher us into the presence of God, and lift us above the life situations that would seek to drown us.  Take time to return to God and say "thank you" like the leper in Luke's Gospel because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.  Selah!

Please share a time when someone said "thank you" to you that touched your heart.  I appreciate and value your comments here.  Please leave one to encourage others.                              


Pam said...

"[Thank you] is the fuel which keeps the fire of service burning." This is so very true, Barbara. The comments on my blog, thanking me for a post,fill me with awe that God would use my words to help someone else. They give me inspiration to keep blogging.

Anonymous said...

Barbara, THANK YOU for this wonderful reminder. :)

The Edsel and hula hoop? lol! Yep, we're from that generation who remembers when it was always expected to say "Thank you" -

But just as you reminded us of the account in Luke, there really is nothing new under the sun.

I too am guilty of praying fervently for something and then barely taking time to stop and praise God for His answers.


Barbara Thayer said...

Yes Pam....isn't it wonderful when people do take the time to comment on what we write. It encourages us and keeps us going. The older I get the more mindful I am of telling those around me "thank you" for spending your time to lift me up. You are a blessing dear friend!

Barbara Thayer said...

Yes, I admit....I am from the generation that was taught to say "thank you"....I also had a hula hoop! LOL! We do need to remember to say thank you for each person who has blessed us. I am afraid we don't always stop and think about that.
You are a blessing in my life Diane....so "thank you" for visiting here and for what your write on your blog.