For years, this song has been part of my Thanksgiving. We sang it at Thanksgiving Eve services. We sang it on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. And I always noticed that the poet was Swedish. That made me both proud and melancholy.
My Swedish grandmother on my dad’s side lost her husband when she was young and a son not much later (pictured above, on the left). My Swedish grandfather on my mom’s side lost his first wife shortly after their only child was born. That they could sing this song, he in his native language, gave depth to the words.
If you want more about the song and reflection on it, you can read Chris Gehrz’s reflections at The Pietist Schoolman. If not, you may read the words. Either way, know today that I’m thankful for you.
1. Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a mem’ry,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
2. Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
3. Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!