Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks In Tough Times

Nov 23, 2011 9:19am
     No matter what your religious faith, you’ve probably heard the hymn NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD.  ”Now Thank We All Our God, With Hearts and Hands and Voices…”   One could imagine the composer of that hymn experiencing a boon in life and blessings being showered upon him from every source.  But that is not the case.
      The composer of that hymn is Martin Rinkart, a 17th century German clergyman.  In 1637 the plague hit his small town, killing over 8,000 people.  Rinkart worked at the beds of the sick and dying and buried more than 4,000 people himself.  The plague was followed by a famine, and the clergyman had trouble finding bread and clothes for his own children.  It was in this context that he wrote his famous hymn of trust, praise and thanksgiving. How is that possible?  Because even the midst of such calamity, Rinkart found things for which to be grateful.
     There’s a verse from the Bible that says, “In all things, give thanks.”  It means that the very act of giving thanks changes us. Not because we always feel like it, but because giving thanks allows us to look deeper than our surface pain or troubles- to be united with a reality outside of ourselves.
     You may not be doing  well in your life right now.  Maybe you’re sick or struggling financially.  Perhaps you have family troubles or marital woes. Most are dealing with something.  What Thanksgiving reminds us to do is to appreciate that all of life is a gift. Graciously given to us: time, the earth, our loved ones, and, yes, even the struggles.
     ”Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way. With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”
                   HAPPY THANKSGIVING
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