We are all busy. Moving. Doing this and that. Answering emails to stay on top of things. Attending to the car that needs an oil change. Driving here and then there. Addressing the infinite immediate needs — but how often do we see beyond all this — to the heart of Jesus?
Recently, I had a project. Much of it was about organizing and recruiting people. In a sense, I had to show people the worth of their involvement in it. Some people said, “Yes, I want to be included.” Others, said, “No.”
But, what I figured was underneath it all, many were asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?”
What do I get?
Will it advance my cause?
How does it work out for me?
That is — until one woman’s reply broke the power of my over-generalizing words, when she wrote, “Yes, and, please let me know how I can help you.”
What?!!! She wants to — help me? You mean she is not looking at this — from what is in it for her?
Wow. While I’d probably asked a hundred people the same question, only one returned to say — and how can I help you?
It reminded me of this story.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Lu. 17:15-19)
10 were healed.
1 came back.
Who are we in this story?
Are we the one who looks to take the good stuff from God — only to go ahead with our own agenda? Or, do we come back and say, “Oh, my God! Thank you so much for what you are giving and doing! You’re amazing.”
Are we the one who says, “This story is all about me.” Or, are we the one who turns to the person next to us and says, “What’s your story and how can I help you today?”
Are we the one who keeps talking without considering the person’s desire to talk or share? Or, do we make room for their voice within the conversation?
Are we the one who sees God answer a prayer, only to consider the 501 other things that should be better by now, God? Or, are we the one who falls down and says, “Thank you, Father, you’re doing it! Thank you. I can’t see the rest, but I trust you!”
I’ve been both at times. When I was like the nine, I felt rushed, anxious and tense. Overwhelmed by the next thing I had to do and accomplish. When I became the 1, I rejoiced in how: Jesus saw me, showed up for me, and how I got to hold His hand in the celebration of His goodness. I somehow grabbed a deeper hold of Jesus.
Friends, often our thanks, when done by faith, makes us well. How do you need to turn back to Jesus today to say, “Thank you”? Maybe it is not only done by word, but through action.
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This message was laid on my heart last night. As I reflected on my day, I realized that I had never formally thanked God for answering my prayer to give me strength to get through. So often I’m part of the 9, last night I was the one who came back. Minutes later I looked out the window to see a reflection of the sunset in deep purple. As I stared in awe, I praised God for creating such a beautiful view. When I came to his feet in thanks it put my eyes on on Him instead of me. This allowed me to witness his glory and grow in faith that he who created the world sees me.
Guilty as charged. Your story could be mine. Thanks for reminder.