Martin Rinkert was a minister in the little town of Eilenburg in Germany some 380 years ago. He was the son of a poor coppersmith, but somehow managed to work his way through an education. Finally, in the year 1617, he was offered the post of archdeacon in his hometown parish. A year later, what has come to be known as the thirty-years-war broke out in Europe. His town was caught right in the middle of it. In 1637, a massive plague that swept across the continent of Europe hit the town of Eilenburg… people died at the rate of fifty a day and the man called to bury most of then was Martin Rinkert. In all, over 8,000 people died, including Martin’s own wife and children. His labors finally came to an end about 11 years later, just one year after the conclusion of the war. His ministry spanned 32 years, all but the first and the last overwhelmed by the great conflicts that engulfed his town and his own life. Tough circumstances in which to be thankful, but he managed to be thankful, and he wrote these words.
Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
It takes magnificent spirit to come through such hardship and express gratitude. Yet, in the midst of catastrophic social and personal loss Martin Rinkert set down to pen this great hymn of thanks.
It takes great courage to thank God when the going is tough; it takes great strength to be thankful while sailing on rough waters, but many great men and women of God have found that strength to be thankful to God even when the world is crumbling around them.
Now is time for us to ask to the question; how thankful are we to God?
We may not live in circumstances like Martin Rinkert and many others who had very less to be thankful about but still had hearts filled with thankfulness. We may not live in a world which is falling apart around us. God has filled our lives with abundant blessings and yet we have little to be thankful about. Just look into the miserable world around us and we will have many reasons to be thankful when many others have little or no reason to be thankful.
How many times have we thanked God for the many wonderful blessings which He has bestowed upon us?
If you are asking today: what do I have to be thankful about?
Let’s consider these questions:
Have we been thankful for each new morning added to our lives while many don’t get to enjoy that privilege?
Have we been thankful for our family when many have been deprived of this wonderful blessing?
Have we been thankful for the food we eat when many have nothing to nourish their bodies with?
Have we ever been thankful for the beautiful clothes we wear when many have little or nothing to cover their nakedness?
Have we been thankful for the quality education that God gave us or is giving us when many have little to be thankful in this regard?
Have we been thankful for our precious jobs while many hunt for one but in vain?
These are just few examples, only if we take some time and look back into our lives we will find a multitude of blessings of which we have forgotten to be thankful about. Each of us many not have the same reasons to be thankful about but sure each of us have a multitude of reasons to be thankful about.
Lets us observe around and be thankful for all that we have in this transitory lifetime.
“Let’s count our many blessings, naming them one by one and sacrifice our gratitude and thanks on the altar of God”.