I remember when I was a kid that I loved receiving things in the mail and especially on my birthday and Christmas whether it be gifts or be cards. A lot of those came from distant relatives or friends of the family people that I hardly knew. But I enjoyed tearing open into those gifts and also opening the letters maybe in a little way hoping for some money in there.
Yes I enjoyed the gifts those people gave but I was quite reluctant when it came to sending them thank you’s. My mom reminded me again and again. Make sure to write your thank you’s, but I’d try to put it off as much as I could because it wasn’t as fun as getting the gifts. Actually sitting down and writing the thank you’s.
In God’s Word we hear about 10 men who came to Jesus pleading with him that he would heal them of leprosy. Jesus did exactly that. As they head on their way we hear this in Luke Chapter 17.
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. Jesus responded, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give glory to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go your way. Your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:15-19)
You see Jesus praised this man for returning and saying thank you. I’m certain all of those men were grateful that they had been healed, filled with joy and excitement about that. But they overlooked the giver. The one that had actually healed them they neglected turning back and saying thank you all except for one.
Growing up and my mom trying to convince me to write those thank you’s all those years I distinctly remember her telling me “if you don’t write your thank you’s this year don’t expect any more gifts next year.” And it was true. When I forget to write thank you’s those same people often would not send me gifts or cards the very next year.
Is the same true when it comes to God? God has showered us with tremendous blessings he’s given us life, he’s given us our families, he’s given us our homes, and our jobs, and so much more. And how often do we say thank you to God? Not enough, that’s for sure. Is it that God will withhold blessing from us because we forget to say thank you or don’t do it often enough?
In all those years that I received those gifts and cards. There’s been only one woman who still sends me birthday cards to this day. She hasn’t missed a year even though I missed 10 plus years of saying thank you to her. She has not stopped sending me cards and why? It’s because her gifts didn’t depend on my thankfulness. It depended on her being merciful and gracious and wanting to give me something good though I didn’t deserve it.
What a picture that is of God’s love for us. Despite the fact that we are often unfaithful for the gifts that he gives, he yet continues to be gracious and merciful to us every day of our lives. Especially through His Son Jesus Christ our Savior. So this Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to say thank you to God for all of his tremendous blessings but not just on Thanksgiving Day but throughout your entire year and your entire life. Amen.