You can even be thankful during the most difficult of circumstances in life. It’s true! We see an especially inspiring example of a brave and thankful heart in the story behind one of the church’s most popular hymns, “Now Thank We All Our God.” This particularly hymn was written during the Thirty Years War in Germany, in the early 1600s. Its author was Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran pastor in the town of Eilenburg in Saxony.
Now, Eilenburg was a walled city, so it became a haven for refugees seeking safety from the fighting. But soon, the city became too crowded and food was in short supply. Then, a famine hit and a terrible plague and Eilenburg became a giant morgue.
In one year alone, Pastor Rinkart conducted funerals for 4,500 people, including his own wife. The war dragged on; the suffering continued. Yet through it all, he never lost courage or faith and even during the darkest days of Eilenburg’s agony, he was able to write this hymn:
Now thank we all our God,
with hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom the world rejoices
…[So] keep us in His grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills,
in this world and the next.
Even when he was waist deep in destruction, Pastor Rinkart was able to lift his sights to a higher plane. He kept his mind on God’s love when the world was filled with hate. He kept his mind on God’s promises of heaven when the earth was a living hell. Can we not do the same – we whose lives are almost trouble-free, compared with the man who wrote that hymn?
Whom can you say “thank you” to? What can you thank God for even in this COVID year?
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for your love. Thank you for those we love. Thank you for all your blessings and help us see them more clearly each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>