Have you have been given something to a child, and heard their mother say, "What do you say?". The child then knows that "what you say" is "Thank you!". It's what you say when you are given something or something has been done for you by someone else.
Isn't it interesting that 'thank you' has to be taught to us. As children, adults have said "What do we say?" until we knew exactly what to say without their prompt. As a teacher I have to remind my students to say "Thank You, to get in the habit of saying it until it becomes natural. And even as adults we have to work to remember to say it sometimes.
I find myself noticing when people don't say 'Thank You'. Like the guy at the gym I held the door open for. Or the lady in front of when she picked up her fast food. It also makes me think if I've said it all the times and in all the situations that I should have. And, even worse how many times have I asked God for something and then forgotten to say "Thank You".
There are so many times I've been praying for something, or even just said a quick prayer and it's answered. God's done what I needed. God's provided. God's quieted a fear. God's made a way. God's shown His grace and His mercy once again. And I can't even remember to tell Him, "Thank You"?
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus is traveling to Jerusalem and comes across a group of people with leporsy. Being shunned from society because of their diseases, the men could not approach Jesus but instead called from a distance asking Jesus to have pity on them. Jesus tells them to go and show the priest that they have been cleansed and healed. The men went and all that Jesus said happened to them. All ten of them.
But one came back. One saw what Jesus had done and praised God, threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him. All ten men were healed, but only one came back and said 'Thank You!'.
How many times have I been those 9 other men? How many times have I asked God for something, believed He could and would do it, and when it came to fruition, I didn't give him thanks? How many times has God answered my prayers, great or small, and I didn't say 'Thank You' because I didn't even notice or remember? More times than I care to admit. It's sad to say that there are probably very few times that I've remember to stop, go back, and say "Thank you Jesus!"
Lately I've been trying to be intentional about saying 'Thank You'. If I pray for something, even before it's answered, I thank Him. If I ask God for something and I see it; I thank Him. If God blesses me with something, whether or not I asked, I thank Him. For simply being who He is and for doing what He has done for me, I thank Him. For the things that I have that are all because of Him, I thank Him. And can I tell you something...I've seen His hand working, I've seen prayers answers and I've seen His blessings so much more clearly. The sense of gratitude, the feelings of joy, the peace I sense, and the mercy and grace I feel...is indescribable. Simply saying "Thank You" has changes my mind and my heart.
When the one man came back to Jesus to thank Him; Jesus told him 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well." That's the kind of faith I want. Faith that brings about miracles. Faith that causes prayers to be answered. Faith that moves heaven to response. Faith that that believes that anything is possible with God. Faith that remains thankful in all that life brings.
I will continue to say, "Thank You". To the people who serve me my Chick-fil-a. To the man who held the door for me. To the custodians at my school who clean my classroom. To my students when they do what I've asked them to do. To the Amazon delivery man who dropped of my package. To my waitress at the restaurant when she refills my water glass. To the person who let me walk in front of them. And most importantly, to God...for all He has done, all He is, and all He has yet to do.
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."