November 27, 2019
The first Thanksgiving in America was 398 years ago at Plymouth Colony. Edward Winslow was there and recorded that there were 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans present to celebrate. And the observance lasted three days.
After that first Thanksgiving, there were many proclamations made by different governors of different states to set aside a day of thanksgiving. But the dates varied and they were not permanent. It wasn’t until October 3rd, 1863, when President Lincoln and his secretary of state, William Seward, wrote together a proclamation that the last Thursday of November would be dedicated as a national day of thanksgiving praising “our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday, right behind Christmas. It is truly a time of thanksgiving to God for all his wonderful blessings. To make the day even better, it’s usually a time when families can get together and have a great time of eating and sharing our love for one another.
Especially in America today, we all have so much to be thankful for.
Sandra and I were talking last night about Thanksgiving for 2019. I asked Sandra what she was most thankful for. She said she was most thankful for being a child of God and that Jesus was not only her savior, but also her best friend who had never let her down. Then she said she was thankful for family and friends, for good health, for having a nice home to live in, and for being born in America. I, too, agreed with those thing being blessings from God. And that we should be thankful for them every day.
Several years ago, my Daddy and Mother’s house burned to the ground. They had just built it a few years earlier. It was a beautiful brick home and they were both so proud of it. I was living about an hour away when I got the bad news that their house had burned down. I got there as soon as I could to offer my help and condolences. I said to Daddy, “I’m so sorry that you lost your new home.” Daddy said to me, “Well, the only people who never lost anything are the people who never had anything. I’m just thankful that nobody was hurt. And I’m thankful to God for what we have left.”
I was proud that Daddy and Mother were not bitter about that bad experience, and that they were both thankful for what they still had.
Some people are not as thankful to God for what they have as they should be.
In Luke chapter 17, there is a great story about Jesus meeting ten lepers. Jesus healed them of their leprosy and told them to go show themselves to the priest and be pronounced well so they could be reunited with their families. All the lepers left Jesus’ presence to go see the priest. Only one of the lepers returned to see Jesus and tell him thanks for healing them. The above story shows a lot of ungratefulness by the nine men who did not tell Jesus “Thanks.” Only 10% of the healed lepers said “Thanks” to Jesus.
That story reminds me of the small percentage of truly grateful people there are today who are willing to go out of their way and say “Thanks” to God.
Not only should we say “Thanks” to God, but we should also be showing our thanks to Him. How? Remember Jesus saying that if you give somebody a glass of water in His name that it was the same as giving it to Him?
There are so many opportunities (and responsibilities) to give today.
As one person, you can’t do everything to help people. I’m reminded what Edward Everett Hale wrote:
“I am only one,
But I am still one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something I can do.”
God Bless You,