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B. We can be thankful even during the most difficult circumstances in life. We see an especially inspiring example of a brave and thankful heart in the story behind one of the church’s thanksgiving songs #788 in our hymnal, Now Thank WE All Our God. This hymn was written during the 30 years war in Germany, in the early 1600’s. Its author was Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran preacher in the town of Eilenburg in Saxony. Now, Eilenburg was a walled city, so it became a haven for refugees seeking safety from the fighting. But soon, the city became too crowded and food was in short supply. Then, a famine hit and a terrible plague and Eilenburg became a giant morgue. In one year alone, Preacher Rinkart conducted funerals for 4,500 people, including his own wife. The war dragged on; the suffering continued. Yet through it all, he never lost courage or faith and even during the darkest days of Eilenburg’s agony, he was able to write this hymn. Even when he was waist deep in destruction, Preacher Rinkart was able to lift his sights to a higher plane. He kept his mind on God and heaven when the earth was a living hell. Can we not do the same- we whose lives are almost trouble-free, compared with the man who wrote this hymn?

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