Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Thanks V

Today, I found myself reminiscing a lot; I'm not sure if it was the comment by one of my students ("Miss Tesfamariam, do you miss your family?") that got me going, but in my minds eye, I saw many captured moments: from my earliest memories of childhood (which actually don't begin until 10ish) through my days in high school, to my four years of college, and right now--as a teacher.
Going with my theme of giving thanks on Monday's, I want to share a college memory. One of my favorite times was dorm devotions. I loved singing as a group--all of us would lay aside our differences and for 10 minutes or so, we would have a window of peace. I also loved listening as voices blended in harmony, giving praise to the Savior. A song we would always sing around Thanksgiving time is "Thanks To God". I'm not sure if I had sung it before coming to college (somethings I just didn't get a "snapshot" of :), but the words were so full of meaning. As I read them again today, I'm reminded of much:

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,

{Thank you Lord, for my salvation}

Thanks for all Thou dost provide!

{Thank You for caring even for "one of these"}

Thanks for times now but a memory,

{Thank You for the good memories that make me smile...and for the bad that allow me to turn to You}

Thanks for Jesus by my side!

{I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee}

Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,

{The promise of new life}

Thanks for dark and stormy fall!

{Ahhh....I love fall!}

Thanks for tears by now forgotten,

{The Lord takes all of my hurts and disappointments}

Thanks for peace within my soul!

{Thanks for peace that floods my soul...when I don't understand}
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,

{Thank You for saying "Yes"...

Thanks for what Thou dost deny!

And help me still TRUST when You say "No"}

Thanks for storms that I have weathered,

{Thank You for keeping me safe, "Til the Storm Passes By"}

Thanks for all Thou dost supply!

{But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19}

Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,

{Thank You for "growing pains" and also in delighting to give me blessings}

Thanks for comfort in despair!

{Thank You for sending the Comforter}

Thanks for grace that none can measure,

{When I fall, You are there to pick me up again--You NEVER give up on me}

Thanks for love beyond compare!

{Calvary...says it all}

Thanks for roses by the wayside,

{Thank You for the sweetness of life...

Thanks for thorns their stems contain!

Even amid heartache and tears}

Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,

{Thank You for my family}

Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!

{Thank You for being my Hope when I think all else is hopeless}

Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,

{Thanks for these that allow my life to be richer}

Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!

{Thanks for making me Your child}

Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,

{"Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand; But I know Who holds tomorrow, And I know Who holds my hand"!}
Thanks through all eternity!

{I can never thank You enough for what You have done in my life...and so I shall still be praising You throughout all eternity. Thank You, Lord!}

A little hymn history:
~Thanks to God!

The author, August Ludvig Storm, was born in Sweden. As a young man, he was converted to Christ in a Salvation Army meeting. Soon he joined the Salvation Army Corps. He wrote this hymn’s text for the Army publication, Stridsropet (The War Cry), on December 5, 1891.

The original Swedish version had four stanzas, with each verse beginning with the word tack thanks, having a total of thirty-two thanks in all. The gratitude expressed to God ranges from the dark and dreary Fall to the pleasant, balmy Spring time, pain as well as pleasure, thorns as well as roses.

At the age of thirty-seven, August Storm suffered a back ailment that left him crippled for life. He continued, however, to administer his Salvation Army duties until his death.

A year before his death on July 1, 1914, he wrote another poem in which he thanked God for the years of calm and quiet as well as the years of pain. After his funeral, the Swedish War Cry wrote the following:

It was a delight to listen to his powerful, thoughtful, and well-articulated sermons. And the numerous verses that flowed from his pen are the best that have ever appeared in the Army’s publications.

—Kenneth Osbeck

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