19 Nov Turn Back
This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving – a holiday dedicated to giving thanks for all the things we have to be grateful for. It is a time to reflect on all of our blessings and how God has brought us through another year.
As I was thinking about this holiday, the story of the ten lepers came to mind (Luke 17:11-19). In Scripture, we find a story of ten lepers who approached Jesus from afar and asked that He have mercy on them. He told them to go to the priests and as they did they were healed. The interesting thing about this story is that as the lepers were running to the priests to show them their healing, only one thought to turn back to thank Jesus for healing them in the first place. Only one out of ten turned back. Now we may think that maybe Jesus is not in the business of doing things to receive thanks or that he could care less about whether or not someone thanks Him for healing them. What we find instead is that Jesus does care. When the one leper returned to give Him thanks He said, “Were there not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Jesus knew exactly how many men were in the group and He definitely noticed who did not turn back. He could have chosen to ignore it, but Jesus made it a point to call them out. He was not pleased.
Surely, we can understand the oversight of these men. Leprosy is a horrible disease that resulted in isolation from family, friends and the community at large. Understandably, they were excited and overwhelmed by the miracle they had received. What this Scripture reminds us though is that we cannot take God for granted. We cannot get so caught up in the blessing that we forget about the One who blessed us in the first place.
During this holiday season, it is so easy to get caught up with spending time with family/friends, cooking the turkey just right or even with planning the post-Thanksgiving shopping spree. In the midst of all that we cannot forget to turn back and give God thanks for what He has blessed us with. We do not want to be part of the 90% that just keeps running and showing off our blessings; we want to distinguish ourselves as part of the 10% that turns back and gives God praise for all He has done. This holiday week, plan your Thanksgiving dinner and strategize about your Black Friday shopping spree; however, while doing so, do not forget to thank God for all that He has done for you and yours. Don’t forget to take a moment and turn back.