Practicing Thankfulness at Thanksgiving
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
It was 1636 and the Thirty Years’ War was raging. Death, disease, and economic collapse enveloped Europe in a fog of terror. One German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in one year—an average of fifteen people per day! Yet under the shadow of death and amidst a crucible of chaos, Rinkart penned this beautiful prayer for his children:
Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices
Who wondrous things had done
In whom His world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms
Hath led us on our way
With countless gifts of love
And still is ours today.
Was this man in denial? Out of touch? Hardly. Rinkart was a person of incredible faith. He knew thanksgiving flows from within as a result of acknowledging the love of God at all times. It is not dependent on outward circumstance.
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” - Eric Hoffer (1902-1983)