I can’t stand ingratitude. I can’t stand it when people forget to say “thank you” for what they have received. It is something we have worked on with our children over the years. It is something that I came to realize more than thirty years ago. Everything is a gift. No one “owes” you anything – not the world, not life, not God, not anyone.
Unfortunately it is so very easy to forget the gratitude we need to have when things are going well. And nothing illustrates it better than the story of the ten lepers.
How is this healing story different from many others (dead girl brought to life, the widow’s son raised, the blind who receive sight)? Where were they when they were healed? What does Jesus mean by his last statement?
I feel this story is a little different from many other healing stories in that Jesus doesn’t lay his hands on the lepers. He doesn’t spit into mud and apply it to them. He doesn’t say “be healed” to make them clean.
Instead they are on their way to see the priests when they were healed. We must assume that they expected the healing or the trip to the priests would be pointless. And we might excuse those nine for not returning because perhaps they were a long way off from Jesus.
Mostly, however, I think they were simply so excited that the miracle happened that they forgot to say “thank you.”
And yet, how much like them are we? We can get so caught up in happiness that we forget to thank God. And when I mention happiness it may not be the giddy, laughing, giggling happiness of a new bicycle. Instead it is the common, day-to-day contentment of knowing that things are fine. That is a form of happiness, and that form of happiness lulls us into such a sleep of complacency that we forget what we need to thank God for.
He may not have healed us of a deadly disease. He may not have rescued us from financial ruin. He may not have spared us from some tragic accident.
But his blessings are just as great in the day-to-day miracles of life, of being healthy, of being able to see and hear and touch and taste the bounty of God’s love in the world around us.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Be like the one and not like the nine. Go to God in gratitude.