Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I Thank Thee More?

We were visitors at church that Sunday, tucked into a row with hardly enough room for our family of seven. I was keenly concious of the watching eyes as I did my best attempt at deftly balancing song book and three year old in my lap between elbow in my rib on the left and shoulder brushing mine on the right. It was hardly the best atmosphere for noticing any profound message in the songs being sung and I really wasn't trying; I barely knew the song we were singing, actually.

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.


Rosina said...

This is one of my favorite songs. It's so beautiful and touches me in deep places every time I hear it.

Mrs L said...

The next time we sing this song I'll definitely think more about the words and not just get caught up in the beautiful harmony!

Tina Z. said...

Those words set me straight... we can't afford to just slide along in our life here on this earth can we? Not that its wrong to enjoy life... Anyways. Hhmm, I need more of that attitude I see in those words.

Mark said...

Wow Bethany, this hits me tonight. Today has been a day of joy and heaviness. Joy because I've had to privilege of interceding for a deeply loved friend who needs God's direction for a very serious matter. Heaviness because his physical safety may be at stake. (He's in another country right now.)
And therein lies the heaviness.

The joy of loving my friend, and praying for him, is touched by the pain of knowing that we are not called to live safe lives. And I have no control over this situation. Which again leads me to pray and intercede. Which again leads to the joy of casting my cares on God ... for He cares for me.