By Randy Garrison
For the Enquirer
These are the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, especially this time of year, “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” –
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”
While we do set aside a special day to give thanks, how blessed we are that we can freely thank God each and every day for His blessings.
Thanks is also in order for those who came across the ocean many, many years ago, colonized this country and fought a war to enable religious liberty to be available to all Americans.
According to Wikipedia, “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart” was written in 1978 by Henry Smith. It was written after Smith had trouble finding work after graduating from university. He also suffered from a degenerative condition that eventually left him legally blind.
While at his church in Williamsburg, Virginia, his pastor inspired him with a reference to how Jesus made himself poor to make others rich through him. When Smith started performing the song in church, a visiting United States Military officer took the song to Europe, from where its popularity spread. Don Moen later recorded and released the worship song. made himself poor to make others rich through him. When Smith started performing the song in church, a visiting United States military officer took the song to Europe, where its popularity spread.
Don Moen later recorded and released the worship song.
Now, many might feel that with all that has been and is happening in our world, nation and even our state, there is very little to be thankful for this year.
I will disagree with that thought.
While COVID-19 continues to rage in the world, it was not a surprise to God what would happen. Even with our churches shutting down for a period of time, most were able to switch to virtual worship in just days or a few weeks, thanks to technology. Just a short time prior to this year, this would not have been possible.
Technology has also enabled folks to be notified in seconds, versus print or other means of communication, as would have been the case in previous health emergencies.
While many have lost their health, family members, jobs and even homes, our God is still in control of this world. His plans might not be ours to understand this side of heaven, but He has promised that one day, we will no longer experience loss but will live eternally with Him where all things are new, and there will be no tears or sorrow.
Most of us are blessed beyond measure, and when we really stop to count our blessings and give thanks, we should never forget the most important blessing in our lives is our salvation freely given to us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We are thankful to God for the blessings of health, family, friends and too many others to list, but if we miss this one, all others pale in comparison: our eternal salvation, just as mentioned in this song, because He gave us His Son. This is the blessing we are most thankful for.
God is good all the time. Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow.