The year 2020 is been a really tough year. Pandemic, economic, political–it really does not matter what area of life you look at–2020 has been a really tough year. It is now be suggested that we take one of the festive times of the year, Thanksgiving, and limit our family gatherings to 10 people or less. Many families will ignore the suggestion while others will struggle to decide who should come and who shouldn’t.
Sometimes it is just good to look back into history a bit. Consider the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers when they celebrated the first American “Thanksgiving.” How in the world could they give thanks? They had suffered terribly on their long freedom journey which began in the English countryside and ended on the rocky coast of New England.
The Speedwell, one of the two boats they boarded in New Amsterdam, almost fell apart before it had moved very far from shore. they had to turn the boat around and those who still had heart for the voyage crowded into the Mayflower.
They encountered terrible storms at sea. for almost the entire trip they remained below deck. They were short on food, short on medicine. The sanitation and ventilation were inadequate to say the least and the smell was horrendous.
After their first harvest season, when they celebrated that first “Thanksgiving” fully half of their number already had died. We can all appreciate the hardships these people endured, but he astonishing thing is that through it all, from the English country side to the cold, rocky New England shoreline to the first “Thanksgiving Day” at Plymouth, the Psalm book was their prayer book.
They were offering praise and thanksgiving to God every step of the way. They praised God in the midst of the turmoil, not only when the turmoil had ended. As they sailed away from home, they praised God and thanked Him for whatever was ahead. Don in the hold of the ship, when it appeared certain they would not make it, they sand songs of praise and thanksgiving.
In the midst of the danger and suffering, their spirit was thanksgiving. They were praising and thanking God when when they didn’t fell like it. They were incredible!
I only hope to be so incredible this Thanksgiving.
This is my story…