Suddenly a phrase in the third stanza grabbed my attention with somewhat the same effect of an electric fence and an oblivious cow. Say what again? I thank thee more for what??
"I thank Thee more that all our joy is touched with pain..."
I sat there, stunned for a moment, while the voices around me continued on with their singing.
"That shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain -- So that earth's bliss may be our guide, and not our chain."
The words echoed and re-echoed in my mind. Was it really possible to say that? I thank Thee MORE??
Those words stuck in my mind, and three days later I finally took the time to look up the song in our songbook at home and study it more. I've concluded that I would like to have known this woman who penned such profound words.
"My God, I thank Thee, who has made the earth so bright -- So full of splendor and of joy, beauty and light -- So many glorious things are here, noble and right.
"I Thank Thee, too, that Thou has made Joy to abound -- So many gentle thoughts and deeds circling us round; that in the darkest spot of earth some love is found.
"I thank Thee more that all our joy is touched with pain; that shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain -- So that earth's bliss may be our guide, and not our chain.
"I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept the best in store; we have enough, yet not too much to long for more -- A yearning for a deeper peace not known before.
"I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls, though amply blest, can never find, although they seek, a perfect rest -- Nor ever shall, until they lean on Jesus' breast."
Even so come Lord Jesus.