“Hey Mom, did I remember to say thank you yesterday for buying me a Kona Ice?” my son asked as I drove him to Gamestop to spend his birthday gift cards. He’s been very thankful lately, always remembering to be grateful for everything I do for him. I’m not sure where this has come from or how long it will last, but it’s kind of nice to be appreciated. I mean, there are a lot of things I do every day that are less that glamorous and yet need to be done. I wash dirty clothes and clean a house that’s less than tidy. I pay the bills on a limited income and make all of the appointments for everyone, even the dog. There are many times I go out of my way to do something for one of my kids just to make them feel a little special for a day. These tasks almost always go unnoticed and that’s okay. I love doing them for my family and honestly don’t expect any gratitude. It brings me joy just to do for them. I have to admit that when my kids are appreciative, it makes me what to bless them more.
When I asked Jonah why he’s been thanking me more often lately, he responded, “I’m just being polite. I’m a Christian and Christians are polite.” I have to admit, I was pretty proud of my boy at that moment. He’s obviously been thinking about the meaning of being a Christian. He’s been making an extra effort to live as he believes Christ would have him live. I love that he’s making such an effort. And I love his attitude of thankfulness.
“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine, where are they? Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?'” (Luke 17:15-18)
This conversation in the car the other day reminded me of this story. Jesus saw Samaritans lepers and healed them. Samaritans were despised by the Jews, yet Jesus loved them. He healed them. They were no longer outcasts considered unclean. They could now live normal lives. They could be among people again. In their loneliness, I’m sure all they desired was human interaction. There were times they just wanted a hug, but this was not possible in their current condition. Their disease prevented them from living fruitful, loving lives. Then Jesus comes along and changes all of that. He has compassion on them. He turns their worthless lives into something. And yet, only one remembered Jesus. Only one chose to return to thank Him. Only one had a grateful spirit. Only one realized that God had touched his life.
We who are called Christians have been healed by Jesus. Our lives, which were once sick with sin, are now restored. We are no longer facing eternal death, only life. Meeting Jesus changed everything. We no longer have to live in sin. We don’t have to worry about what tomorrow holds for He is already there. We have hope in a hopeless world. And for that we are thankful.
Jonah reminded me that I can always find something to be thankful for because God has given me so much. He has also reminded me that there are times I become so caught up in the blessing that I forget to thank Him. I run ahead with excitement and forget to turn back and glorify God for answering my prayer. I become too focused on the blessing instead of the Giver of the blessing. Once again, my child has taught this parent that sometimes you have to stop and say “THANK YOU!”