One of the stories I'm always drawn toward this time of year is Jesus' encounter with the lepers...ten men we meet in the gospel of Luke who all have an infectious skin disease. Their condition makes them outcasts...unwelcome in the temple, banned from the town square, and certainly not permitted to share a meal with those who are "clean." Jesus has mercy on them, just as they request. In a miraculous turn of events, as they walk away from their encounter with him, all of them are suddenly cleansed of their condition. Yet only one of them immediately turns and heads back to express his gratitude to Jesus.
Which made me curious...I wonder how the same story would play out today. Jesus encounters ten people, all in need of healing. He provides a miracle for all ten, yet only one comes back to thank him. The question then becomes the same one Jesus asked about the lepers, "Where are the other nine?" I think I've come up with some possibilities.
One had a child playing in a soccer tournament and ran off, promising himself he would return to thank Jesus when the season was done.
Another immediately went home and planned an elaborate trip to celebrate with his wife. By the time they got back, he had forgotten all about his healing.
Still another thought his healing was a random stroke of fate and went out to spend his whole paycheck on lottery tickets, convinced that this must be his lucky day.
And so on...
Many things can distract us from remembering to say, "Thank you, God." So here's my Thanksgiving invitation: sometime today, hit the pause button. Stop everything else and run back to Jesus. Take time to remind yourself where God has been good to you. Remembering God's faithfulness in the past bolsters our assurance of God's trustworthiness for the future.