In Gratitude

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.
Ps 92:1-2 

I remember something a church member once said that that inspired me. She was distressed because she'd heard lots of bad things from people needing prayer, including some bad news about a child undergoing cancer treatment. And so she woke up the next morning determined to live "in gratitude" that day.

In Gratitude is a nice place to live. And it's always an option. When we hear bad news from somebody else, we should not thank God that the bad thing didn't happen to us. Our gratitude should be for the little things and for life itself. Why complain that we're not like those who are rich or powerful or beautiful? "Others have the fat of the earth," said Thomas Watson, "you have the dew of heaven."

I can always count my blessings—usually beyond what I might reasonably have time for—should I actually attempt it. And should I run out of things to say "Thank you" for, I should never forget to declare God's steadfast love in the morning and God's faithfulness at night.

And so, in honor of the upcoming Canadian Thanksgiving and last Sunday's Erntedankfest (Harvest Thanksgiving) in Germany, I'll share this popular German song. My paraphrase follows.

Thank you for every lovely morning,
thank you for such a glorious day.
Thank you for listening to my worries:
Hear me when I pray.

Thank you for all the friends around me,
thank you for every kindly deed.
Thank you for everything you give me—
much more than I need.

Thank you that wrong can never harm me,
thank you for caring for my soul.
Thank you for always guiding me toward
what should be my rôle.

Thank you, when overcome by weakness,
thank you, for lending me your strength.
Thank you for ever-present nearness,
guiding me at length.

Thank you, that I may live for you, Lord;
thank you, for being by my side.
Thank you, that when I sin against you,
You don't act in spite.

Thank you for love that knows no limits.
Thank you that you give faith its start.
Thank you that I can sing songs of thanks-
giving from the heart!

And before I say Amen, I will pray as I've been taught: Our Father...

Protestant theologian Martin Gotthard Schneider wrote this song in 1961, and it reached the German pop charts for six weeks in 1963. It's a song of thanks (obviously).