Luke 17:15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Out of ten lepers who got healed, only one came back to thank Jesus. And the grateful one was a Samaritan, considered opposed to the Jews.
As an outsider, looking at this situation, it’s easy to notice that the nine were ungrateful. But I wonder what is my track record in responding in gratitude to the Lord, have I always stopped to thank Him for each time He answered a prayer?
Is the percentage of people in earnest prayer on knees asking God for a favor equal to the percentage of people in earnest prayer on knees thanking God for a positive answer? I dare say it is easier to intentionally set aside prayer time to ask the Lord to take oneself out of distress, to beg Him for help in a lifelong strained relationship, to ask for help in getting that desired partner in life, to get out of business trouble, to have success in surgery, to be delivered from that warrant of arrest and defamation and being the subject of vile gossip, to have financial stability, to have wisdom on what on earth to do with a difficult situation, to have a blessed family life. It is good enough motivation to go to church everyday and talk to the Lord.
What might be the human-nature response when those prayers have all been answered?
The best response is gratitude that manifests in life that is in keeping with what delights the Lord. But the more common response might be to forget what God has done and go back to the same old ways opposed to God.
To the spiritual life, blessing might be a bigger test than difficulty. The latter clarifies to us our need for God. It humbles us and makes us want to come to Him when all else fails. We become closer to Him. But blessing? It can sometimes give us a false sense of self-sufficiency from God and the wrong perceptions that we accomplished things on our own merit and we do not need Him. To come to God during seasons of blessing, that is a test.
Prov 30:8c-9 but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
We forget that God shuffles the cards, owns everything, and does not owe us anything but is merely gracious.
1Sam 2:6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts.
Psalm 50:12b for the world is Mine, and all that is in it.
I acknowledge You own everything, You hold all power. All blessings I have are Yours. There is nothing I can give You that is not Yours to begin with. I came to earth empty handed and I likewise leave empty handed. Everything goes back to You. I thank You for afflictions that have brought me closer to You. I thank You for each and every blessing that You have given, each and every answered prayer. I acknowledge it is only by Your grace. Apart from Your grace, I am nothing, can do nothing, and have nothing. Thank You for Your gifts but most of all, thank You for the gift of You. Thank You for Jesus who has died for me that I may have eternal life. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, our Guide whom You share “unli” anytime. Thank You for Your Word that You have given us to be our map. Thank You for Your unconditional love. Thank You for being the God that You are. Please help me to always be grateful and not be like the nine ungrateful, which I am sure that in my time on earth, I must have been countless times. Give me new grateful eyes for everything in Jesus’s name Amen.