Recently we had a sermon on Psalm 116 and it focused on a question which we should be asking, namely, "what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?" On this text, Basil the Great, a 4th century Church Father, wrote the following powerful statement:
"What reward shall we give unto the Lord for all the benefits He hath bestowed? From the cheerless gloom of non-existence, He waked us into being; He ennobled us with understanding; He taught us arts to promote the means of life; He commanded the prolific earth to yield its nurture; He bade the animals to own us as their lords.
"For us the rains descend; for us the sun sheddeth abroad its creative beams; the mountains rise, the valleys bloom, affording us grateful habitation and a sheltering retreat. For us the rivers flow; for us the fountains murmur; the sea opens its bosom to admit our commerce; all nature pouring her treasures at our feet, through the bounteous grace of Him who wills that all be ours." (Basil of Ceasarea, in Spurgeon's Psalms Commentary)