“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?’ ” (Luke 17:15–18).
IT IS BETTER TO SEEK GOD WITH GRATITUDE THAN WITH DESPERATE DEMANDS. However much we seek Him when we’re in need of help that He can give us, we need to continue to seek Him after the help has been given. Like the lone Samaritan who returned to give thanks for having been cleansed of his leprosy, we need to feel as deep a longing to show our appreciation to the Lord as we felt a longing for His help in the first place. If the only time we have any use for God is when we’re unable to get what we want on our own, we are a selfish people indeed. It must be in times of comfort, no less than times of crisis, that we seek our Father’s face.
It’s important to remember that we’re never really able to get what we want on our own. Even when life is going well and we seem to be motoring along without much help, that is never actually the case. Without God’s help each instant, we would perish. There is not a single moment when we’re not completely dependent on His support, and only a fool would distinguish between times when we need God and times when we don’t. The truth is, we need Him — we require Him — at all times (Acts 17:28).
If we are to make steady progress toward God, it will help us to work on the consistency with which we seek Him. Having learned a little of His greatness, we need to seek His glory day in and day out. God is our King, period. That fact is not altered by the fluctuations in our circumstances or our feelings, and the amount of attention we pay to Him ought not to depend on these things either. If we seek Him for His sake, that reason will be present twenty-four hours of every day, whether we feel needy or not. For most of us, this consistency takes some learning, but we can do it. Paul said, “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:12). It’s not easy, but like him, we can learn how to abound without forgetting God or failing to give thanks.
“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance” (Kahlil Gibran).