“Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things have done,
In Whom the world rejoices.”
This excerpt from the hymn written by Martin Rinkart in the 17th century, is just as appropriate in the 21st century. Its message expresses the depth of gratitude for the goodness of God–a God whose power is unmatched and whose love is unlimited. I bow my head and lift my voice to the greatness of His glory.
I thought long and hard about writing an article on Thanksgiving because I believe each day is one of faith, hope and gratitude. Nevertheless, it became clear that my words must be added to the voices of mankind at this special time of the year. What do I say? What should I say? What can I say that will aid mankind on this special day?
Gratitude is “an acknowledgment of a benefit received or will receive”(Wikipedia). It is a “thankfulness.” Whom do we acknowledge or thank? The foundation of all good has its source in God, therefore, that goodness is not measured by money, prestige, or material things, but spiritual growth, inspiration and revelation. Material wealth and power have no lasting value. We have only to think about the number of people who seem to have everything material, yet, take their lives. There was something missing: pain they could not soothe, fear they could not overcome, or loneliness they could not erase. True joy comes when truth dawns on thought.
What am I thankful for? I stand in awe of the wholeness of God–the outpouring of His love to His creation. You and I are part of that creation! His love is unconditional, unlimited and unrelenting! How do I know this? I prove it every day of my life. I walk through the trials of a shattered heart; the uncertainty of a severely challenged faith, and the disappointment of unaccomplished efforts, but with each step of surrender, I learn the lessons of human sacrifice yielding to the divine, thereby, establishing a life rebuilt, renewed and re-energized.
The God we call “Our Father,” is not one we can touch with our hands, hear with our ears, or see with our eyes, but His presence is unshakable and undeniable. His voice reaches us over the thunder of financial disasters; His hand lifts us out of the depths of depression, and we see Him through the tears of grief and sorrow. He is always there! “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me”(Isaiah 61:1). He is upon you!
Today, I express gratitude for the close relationship God has allowed me to form with Him. This “Fatherly/Motherly” relationship lets me go to Him/Her as a child knowing that I will receive the best advice that can be given, wealth that cannot be measured, and love that meets every need . . . and the great thing about this relationship is, that it will only get better. Developing a personal relationship with God is the only way to develop a relationship with family, friends and country. Everything flows from a “knowledge of God.”
I open my heart to you. I reach out my hand to you. Let your ears hear my voice.
Together, let us “thank we all our God.”