I’ve been mindlessly humming this old hymn quite a bit lately. I am awed by the variety and surprising qualities of beauty all around us. Suddenly I’m noticing what I haven’t noticed before. With Thanksgiving days away, this has become my theme—to recognize and thank God for the beauty I see each day.
I thank God for the beauty of the sky:

A sunrise that bursts through gray autumn skies
Sunset hues of purple, pink, and orange that paint swaths of color across the horizon
The moon, clear and bright white in a midnight sky
I thank God for the beauty of food:

A multi-colored selection of fresh fruits and vegetables
Beautifully prepared desserts and platters of savory meat
 I thank God for the beauty of life:

A welcoming smile meant just for me
Laughter, free and unsullied by sarcasm or innuendo
Babies and children with silky soft skin, dimples, and the scent of newness
New believers in Christ, full of faith and enthusiasm, undaunted by the challenges of the day, because they trust in the Sovereign God 
I thank God for the beauty of words:
Of appreciation or praise, affirming my wounded soul
Descriptive words that paint pictures my heart can see
The Word of God – comforting, challenging, poetic, hilarious, empowering
I thank God for the beauty of love:

The look that says, “I’m glad you’re mine” despite my flaws and failures
Invitations to chat or adventure, because we are friends
The Body of Christ—a  diverse and motley group, fraught with failures and opinions, bound together by God’s forgiving, abounding love 
I could go on and on about: candlelight; music that makes me cry, dance, and sing; the green of the forest; the ever-changing ocean; eyes so deep and tender they pull me in; childlike trust, exquisite compassion, graceful joy. All this and more surrounds us and I am consciously trying to focus on these evidences of God.
These things Satan cannot take away—despite devastating world news, illness or injury, job loss, cutting words, computer problems, current circumstances, or the weather. God gives us beauty to delight our souls and remind us of the Creator’s great love for us. It’s a free gift no one can steal away. Beauty lifts our spirits, even on the darkest days, and gives us hope for tomorrow. It helps us look ahead to eternity in heaven, where beauty is unsullied by sin and hatred—set free from the limitations of this earthly life.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and eyes to see and appreciate the beauty of these simple yet profound evidences of our Savior’s love. Look for it in nature, in family and friends, and in Jesus, who has given himself for us. We have so much to be thankful for!

Here are my favorite verses of this Thanksgiving hymn. I hope it makes you want to sing and begin spotting the beauty around you. 
“For the Beauty of the Earth” by Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1864
1. For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

4. For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

5. For thy church, that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
offering up on every shore
her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

6. For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.