My cell phone flashed a familiar phone number. It was Jake, one of my dermatologist clients. I eagerly took the call since he always brightened my day with a joke or wry comment.
“Jake! How are you?”
“Good…good.” His tone was serious, catching me off guard. “Say listen, I’ve been meaning to call you. I don’t know if you heard but I sold my practice about a month ago.”
“Oh!” I knew where this conversation was heading. “Congratulations! When is your last day?”
“Yeah…that’s the thing. These guys I sold to are really giving me a hard time, but I think it will probably be within a month. Listen, I’ll call you when I know for sure.”
We were both uncomfortable and I sought to soothe this transition.
“You know Jake, several of my dermatologist colleagues have retired or sold their practices to others. Over the past 25 years I have been in practice, you are the only one who has ever called me to say goodbye.”
“Really? Can’t believe it! Listen, I just wanted to thank you for our relationship these many years. You really helped me out on some difficult cases.”
“You are welcome.” I gulped. “You sir, are a gentleman and a class act. Thanks for calling Jake and Godspeed.”
It was true. When other dermatology clients sold their practice, there was never any notification to me or my office. I found out weeks or months later when I asked my staff to call their offices and inquire why we had not received a case in consultation for a while. Not Jake. I appreciated his kind words and thoughtfulness.
How often we neglect to thank people, even God! During His ministry, Jesus Christ healed many people. In this one passage from the Gospel of Luke, Jesus healed ten lepers of their disease.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:15-19 (NKJV)
Nine of the lepers who were healed were Jewish. When they initially saw Jesus, they cried out to Him and addressed Him as Master. Yet after they were healed, only the one foreigner, a Samaritan, returned to Jesus and thanked Him for healing him of his leprosy. In bitter irony, Jesus calls out the shallowness of His own people and praises a foreigner.
My colleague’s kind word of thanksgiving to me was a powerful reminder of how I need to make a continual effort to thank others who have helped me. As our Lord Jesus Christ stated, it is an act of faith and honoring God to acknowledge this.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.