Friday, November 11, 2022

Remembering to Thank God


By: Sarah Geringer

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 
As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. 
They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” 
And as they went, they were cleansed. 
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.” 
Luke 17:11-19 NIV

Do you have trouble remembering to thank God for the good things in your life? I think this is human nature, and we see how common it is in this Bible story.

I remember being intrigued with this story even as a child. In my religion classes at my private Christian grade school, we had an illustrated book of Bible stories. I still remember the artist's interpretation of one leper returning back to Jesus to thank him for his miraculous healing.

I also remember my childhood promise to be like this one leper. As a highly empathic person, even as a child, I did not want to disappoint Jesus by not returning to thank him. In my little girl heart, I promised not to let him down by being careless with my remembrance to practice gratitude.

But since I'm a sinful and forgetful person like everyone else, I've had trouble remembering to thank God many times since childhood. Aren't we all guilty of this at one time or another in our lives, even for something big that God did for us?

Do you have trouble remembering to thank God? Here's encouragement for you.

We can draw conclusions from this one leper's story on remembering to thank God as we look closely at the details.

This leper knew he was undeserving of Jesus' favor for at least two reasons:

1. As a leper, he was ceremonially unclean. He could not associate with regular people for fear of contamination on a health basis, but also he was cast out on a religious basis. He stood at a distance even while begging Jesus to heal him. Yet Jesus allowed him to draw near enough for healing.

2. As a Samaritan, he was despised by the Jews. The Jews considered themselves God's chosen people, but the Samaritans were considered half-breeds at best. Any other Jewish teacher would have paid him no attention, but Jesus lovingly healed him with just a word.

This leper was so overwhelmed with thanks, he threw himself at Jesus' feet in humility and worship. He knew he didn't deserve the healing, and he certainly wasn't taking his miracle for granted. He wanted to give credit where credit was due, and that's why he came back to Jesus to give thanks.

Though he knew he didn't deserve Jesus' favor, he could not help but return to give wholehearted praise and thanks to his Healer. He did not care what anyone else thought about a Samaritan approaching a Jewish teacher. With all his heart, he simply wanted to express his deepest gratitude for the life-changing miracle Jesus performed simply by speaking a word.

Now that we've looked at the leper's example, permit me to ask you some hard questions that I've had to answer myself.

Do you have trouble remembering to thank God because you...
1. secretly think you deserve God's favor based on how "good" you are?
2. feel like an outsider in God's kingdom?
3. are so caught up in the moment of relief that you forget who relieved you?
4. are concerned about what others may think about your fervent expressions of thanks?
5. are too busy to stop and reflect on the prayers God has already answered, which could inspire your thanks?

I confess to you I've possessed all of these attitudes at one time or another. But since God has just answered an enormous request of mine in the past week, I'm not having trouble remembering to thank God (see why HERE). Instead, I'm practically wearing him out with gratitude, if that's even possible!

One of the ways I'm remembering to thank God is to say prayers of thanksgiving as soon as I turn the light out before I go to bed. So, I literally fall asleep thanking and praising God. I also use driving time to listen to praise and worship songs. While I'm singing them, I'm thinking of the specific reasons to praise and thank God for what he's done in my life. I also devote a portion of the time on every one of my prayer walks to gratitude.

These daily rhythms help me remember to thank God every day, not just on days when he does something huge in my life. Those days are wonderful, yet I need to thank him for all the little things too, which occur on the daily. This rhythm of gratitude connects me with God and helps uplift my spirit, especially because I recognize that God owes me nothing, yet provides so much blessing in his perfect timing.

I pray that if you have trouble remembering to thank God, this devotion encouraged you today. If you want me to pray for you, reach out to me HERE.

Blessings and God's peace to you,
Sarah Geringer 
Photo from


Check out my book, Hidden Manna on a Country Road, all about connecting with God through nature and prayer - available now in paperback and e-book form! 

Reflection questions:

1. When have you struggled to remember to thank God in the past?
2. How does this leper's story inspire you to be more intentional in thanking God?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. Thank you Sarah for this wonderful reminder and ways to help us remember to praise God. May be continually praise Him❤

  2. A great reminder, Sarah, to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness.

  3. It is so good to be reminded Sarah, great post!

  4. Thank you for this reminder. I must always remember to be thankful.


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