In Good Times and Bad

by Tracy Crump


And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks

(Luke 17:15-16, KJV).


My writing career started with a bang. Large Christian magazines published the first two articles I wrote. More articles followed in national publications along with devotional assignments and stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was exciting to see my name in print and I looked forward to more successful writing ventures.

Seven years later, things changed. Due to their poor health, my parents became my priority. I had little time to write and even less to research markets. Though it was painful, I dissolved a relationship with an agent. I knew I couldn’t work on a book and care for my parents at the same time. Through no one’s fault, my career stalled.

Things changed for the lepers in the Luke 17 passage, too. Who knows what kind of successful lives they led before disease ravaged their bodies. Sick and shunned by society, they hit bottom. Then Jesus came to town. Anticipating better times, the men eagerly obeyed Jesus’ command and went looking for a priest in hopes they would be healed. But when their leprosy vanished, how many went back to thank Jesus? Ironically, when their situation took a turn for the better, most of them forgot all about Jesus.

The funny thing is, I forget to express my gratitude more often when things are going well than when they’re not. Like the nine lepers, I look ahead—to the next article or book—and forget the one who gave me the ability to weave words into publishable material.

I resolve to be like the one leper who returned to thank Jesus.

Our circumstances can change in an instant, but in both good times and bad, Jesus deserves our thanks.

Lord, we want to praise you and thank you regardless of what is happening in our lives. Please forgive us when we don’t.


Tracy Crump


Tracy Crumps dispenses hope in Health, Healing, and Wholeness: Devotions of Hope in the Midst of Illness (CrossLink Publishing She has published devotions in The Upper Room, quarterly devotional publications, and Guideposts books and contributed 22 stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul®. She conducts writing workshops, freelance edits, proofreads for Farmers’ Almanac—and loves on four granddarlings.

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