May 23, 2019

You Never Thank Me


"You're bleeding!" I overheard someone say.

I was at the playground with a couple of my grandchildren when I heard the unmistakable cries of a young child.

I looked around and saw a little girl being consoled by her older sister. The younger sister was holding her sister as she tried to investigate what had caused the injury as well as to find a way to stop the crying.

I left my grandchildren as they climbed the playground equipment and made my way towards the child to see if I could be of assistance.

When I arrived, I saw the injury and asked if they would like a Band-Aid.

The older sister repeated the question to the injured child who replied through her tears with "yes". So I made my way to my car to grab the First-Aid case.

At the car, I unlocked the door and opened up the glove box.

I took out the case (which was brand new and still sealed in plastic). I removed the seal and opened the case and grabbed a couple of different sized Band-Aids, closed the case, placed it once again in the glove compartment, locked the car door, and made my way back to the injured child.

When I arrived, I held out the different sizes and asked her which one she wanted.

She picked one and I removed it from the package and gently placed it upon her injury.

I asked her if she would like the additional Band-Aid which I had brought with; she said "yes", so I handed it to her and made my way back to my grandchildren.

As I was walking away I realized that neither sister said "thank you", which I thought was a little odd, but didn't let it take root in my mind.

Later in the day, I was at Target and a women and myself were both attempting to push our shopping carts past a row of boxes that were semi-blocking an aisle. We were both half-way through the row of boxes when we noticed the other.  

The row would only allow one of us to go through at a time so I decided to back my cart up and wait so that the woman could make her way through the very narrow row.

When she made it through, our eyes met, but no words were exchanged. Once again, as I was walking away, I realized that she too neglected to say "thank you" for my kind gesture.


Two times in one day…

I felt like Phil Conners from the movie Groundhog Day. Day after day he catches a boy who falls from a tree. Day after day the boy runs away and says nothing to Phil who exclaims; "You never thank me!" to the fleeing brat. “I’ll see you tomorrow”.

Perhaps neither sister in the park thought of the words because they were focused on the injury and wanting to get back to why they came to the park; to play!

Perhaps the woman at Target didn’t say the words because she was insecure with me having to move out of the way and then wait to let her go past.

Perhaps they were just lost in their own world.

And then I thought about all (some) of the times when I am negligent to say "thank you" to others who do things for me. I'm not trying to be a jerk; I simply don't always say what is in my heart. I think the words but I don't always say "thank you".

And then I thought about all (some) of the times when I am negligent to say "thank you" to the Lord who does things for me. I'm not trying to be a jerk; I simply don't always say what is in my heart. I think the words but I don't always say "thank you".

And then I thought about the time when Jesus healed some lepers; all of them were sick, all of them were healed. Only one of them came back to say "thank you" to Jesus.

“It happened that as He (Jesus) made His way toward Jerusalem, He crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met Him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Taking a good look at them, He said, “Go, and show yourselves to the priests.” They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan. 

Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then He said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”” (Luke
17:11-19 MSG Version)

We are exhorted by the Apostle Paul "In everything give thanks..." (1 Thessalonians 5:18a). Paul, in case you didn't catch it, is saying that we are supposed to give thanks in EVERYTHING.

That's includes good things as well as bad. He is talking about fostering a heart of gratefulness; of thankfulness; to express gratitude. Not just think it, but actually say the words and let others (and the Lord) know that you are thankful.

The Apostle Paul goes on to say; "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18b)

Did Paul just say that giving thanks in everything is the will of God? 

Yes. 

And he isn't just suggesting it, he is communicated that this is something that we are supposed to do. In EVERYTHING!

I say this because Paul is using the word ‘will’ whose definition includes words like: inclination, desire, and pleasure.

It should be as hard-wired in us as complaining.

And then I thought about my mother-in-law. She is kind of like the leper who came back to Jesus. 

In fact she has a reputation that if give her something, she will write you a thank you note. This includes if you send her a thank you note for something that she gave to you. If you send one, you can expect a note sent to you to thank you for thanking her.

She understands that she is supposed to give thanks in everything.

I want to be that type of person. I want to follow the will of God for my life in Christ Jesus. I want to be the person who says it first, last, and always.

To say 'thank you" in everything has no downside. So, if you are in doubt, just say thank you. Can you really show too much gratitude to the people in your life as well as to the Lord who gives you life?

Say thank you, more often.

"Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:8)


The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson