Martin Rinkart was a German who lived through the Thirty Years’ War. Plus, the plague struck in 1637. More than 8000 people died in his town. He was a pastor and buried 4000 of those people, sometimes in mass funerals for 50 people at once.
This man, with these experiences, wrote that great hymn of gratitude called ‘Now Thank We All Our God.’ It started out as a prayer to be said as grace before meals, but grew to become one of the most popular hymns in Germany, second only perhaps to A Mighty Fortress is our God. Here is the first verse:
“Now thank we all our God
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things has done,
in whom God’s world rejoices,
who from our mother’s arms
has blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.”
Psalm 107:1 implores us with these words: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Not sometimes, or only when we can “feel” his goodness, or when everyone is healthy and happy. But always. Even in plagues, pandemics, wars and weariness, his love endures FOREVER. As a result: now thank we all our God.
Let’s pray to God not only for what we think we need, but to thank him for the needs he has already addressed—even when life is hard.
Don’t let the bad things eclipse your view of God’s blessings.
–* Words: German, Martin Rinckart (1586-1649); translation, Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). Words: public domain.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.