Now Thank We All Our God

On September 8, 2003 our ninth baby, Benjamin, was born, seven weeks premature and weighing only 3 # 5 oz. God’s mercy was evident throughout the entire period, keeping him from harm when he could have died or been brain damaged due to a problem with his cord, but that’s a story for another time. Ben spent over three weeks in the Special Care Nursery, stabilizing and gaining to the magic 4 # weight. After my release I made the returned to the hospital once or twice each day to hold this precious one, and after the first week, to give him his tube feedings and later nurse him.

The nurses taught me to do something called “Kangaroo Care” which involved holding little Ben, with nothing on other than a diaper, inside my shirt, skin to skin. Research has shown that Kangaroo Care helps preemies grow faster and go home from the hospital sooner, plus it is an amazing bonding time for mother and infant. One of the nurses had noticed from Ben’s very first days that he loved to listen to music. Her repertoire was pretty much limited to “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, no doubt inspired by the beautiful little lights sprinkled over the Special Care Nursery ceiling. When anyone – Tim, myself, or a nurse, sang to Ben you could watch him become very focused, listening intently. I brought in a children’s hymn book and used it each day as I sang to Ben while holding him in my “pouch.” The one song I made sure to sing every day was “Now Thank We All Our God.” Sweet Ben, who now has his Daddy’s fawn-like long eyelashes, would stare at me with his eyelash-less and eyebrow-less eyes, and soon fall to sleep, content with his Mommy’s heart beating next to his ear.

Yesterday in church we sang that old beloved Thanksgiving song written in 1626 by Martin Rinkart. I cried. I have so much to be thankful for.

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hand and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done, in whom His world rejoices;
Who, from our mother’s arms, hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God, through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace and guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills in this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
The Son, and Him who reigns with them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God whom earth and heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.


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