When we prepare our hearts to give thanks to the Lord, we usually think mostly of expressing gratitude for all the things we've been given. But if we had any idea how many times in every hour of every day the Lord's protective hand intervenes without our notice to spare us heartache and harm, surely we would pray many more prayers in the spirit of this one -- giving Him thanks for His preventing hand as well as His providing hand.
It's good for me to read this slowly, twice -- first as a poem, and then as a genuine prayer.
We thank Thee, Father, for the care
That did not come to try us;
The burden that we did not bear,
The trouble that passed by us;
The task we did not fail to do,
The hurt we did not cherish;
The friend who did not prove untrue,
The joy that did not perish.
We thank Thee for the blinding storm
That did not loose its swelling;
And for the sudden blight of harm
That came not nigh our dwelling.
We thank Thee for the dart unsped,
The bitter word unspoken,
The grave unmade, the tear unshed,
The heart-tie still unbroken.