Wednesday, November 21, 2012

None returned to say thanks


Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord...and sing praises to Your name.
2 Samuel 22:50
I read this week about Edward Spencer, a ministerial student attending Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He was part of a life-saving squad when the steamship, Lady Elgin went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan, near Waukegan in 1860. The Lady Elgin was carrying more than 300 passengers and crew on a round-trip sightseeing tour from Milwaukee to Chicago. Its return trip was never completed.

Spencer waded into the freezing water again and again, rescuing a total of 17 passengers and permanently damaged his health. He was so badly injured that apparently he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. And when visited in later years he said with tears, "Not one [of those rescued] ever came back and even said thank you." Though he undoubtedly did not rescue them in order to earn their gratitude, it is a sad commentary on our frequent failure in this area.Years later at his funeral, it was mentioned that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
Those in attendance at Spencer's funeral must have been thinking: "How could you not thank the person that saved your life?" In all fairness, those who were rescued most likely thought about thanking him, but didn't know where to find him or just became so busy with life that they forgot.

As Christians we have so many reasons to thank and praise our Heavenly Father. He not only saved us from the clutches of sin, He also continually provides for us, loves us, blesses us and guides us. With everything He is and everything He does, how could we not praise Him? We may often think of thanking our Lord and Savior, but we also need to act upon those thoughts, taking time each day to intentionally express our gratitude with praise.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward