July 24, 2021

Pastoral Nuggets: Being Thankful for the Really Important People in Your Life

If I told you to name five people you are thankful for, who have both done and continue to do things that significantly impact and shape your life, most likely you would tell me about the people who have made a significant monetary, time, emotional, or Spiritual investment into your life.

Most likely you would NOT mention the person who handed you your biscuit and coffee at the drive-thru this morning, the person who served you at the restaurant last night, the mechanic who repaired your car last week, or the person who cleans your office.

And I suppose it is only human nature for us to think that way. We tend to think that the larger the investment somebody makes into our lives, the more important they are – and the smaller the investment the less important.

However, this Thanksgiving season I want to challenge that way of thinking.

In 2nd Kings 5 you will find the story of Naaman. Naaman was a very important man. He was Captain of the Kings Host for the King of Syria.  (Commander in Chief of the King’s Army)But he was also stricken with leprosy. This was a death sentence.

Now, seeing as he was such a well to do and important man in Syria, I’m sure he had been afforded the best doctors of the day, had every medical test performed that could be performed, and was receiving the best medical care possible. However, he remained a leper.

But then the Bible says that a little Jewish maid, a “nameless nobody,” who had been taken captive and enslaved, by Naaman no doubt, and was a servant to Naaman’s wife, told her mistress, “I wish my master would go see the prophet in Samaria; (Elisha) he would heal him.” So Naaman went.

Oddly enough, Elisha wouldn’t even come out to greet him. He simply sent him a message to go bathe seven times in the Jordan River and he would be healed.

Naaman, feeling slighted by Elisha, began to pitch a fit. He rationalized that the rivers in Syria would do just as well. He was about to turn and leave. He was about to forfeit his healing! But his servant advised him against it.

He reasoned with him that if Elisha had asked him to do something monumental – he would have done it. So, why not do this? Naaman came to his senses, did as instructed, and God healed him.

Now, why have I told you the story of Naaman being cured of his leprosy? To illustrate a point that I think we should be reminded of this Thanksgiving.

I don’t find it recorded where Naaman ever bothered to say thank you to his two servants, or “nameless nobodies,” if you will.

In life, I believe everybody wants to feel as though what they are doing is important. And the truth of the matter is that in the context of Naaman’s healing, these two “nameless nobodies” played just as important role as Elisha – if not more so!

And I don’t know if Naaman ever expressed his gratitude to them.

I heard a story sometime back about some seminary students. One day a week for a semester these students took a class on “how to develop personal relationships within the church and with others.”

The cleaning lady’s schedule coincided with theirs. Each week when they would take their breaks, she was there cleaning the breakroom and bathrooms. At the end of the semester the professor gave the final exam. In consisted of one question: What is the cleaning lady’s name? Wow!

This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to express your gratitude to the “nameless nobodies” in your life, the everyday people, those performing the mundane tasks, people who just might be having a much more significant impact upon your life than you realize!

And by the way, don’t be surprised if somebody expresses their gratitude to you! (Just saying!)

Brother Aaron 


  1. Stacie (Toney) Denham says

    I totally agree with this. Also may I add that we should give thanks to the people that “knock us on our butts” so to speak….to try and help keep ourselves on the right path. The ones who tell us when we are doing wrong and something in our behaviour needs to change. The ones who are not out for money and what we can do for them. The ones who make/help us face facts. That’s a whole ‘nother story. Be grateful to the ones who “knocks you on the butt” so to speak. I have had a few that made myself face facts over the years. And am grateful for them. Just wonder if I made a difference/different way of thinking to the ones I did the same to also? I know I did.

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