Next week is Thanksgiving. It's a great time to pause and reflect on our history of this wonderful day we call Thanksgiving.
So let's take a journey back in time and recollect why Thanksgiving came into being in the first place. Why do we have Thanksgiving?
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World. Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty.
Pilgrims Arrive in New World
For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard.
Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America's first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government
After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters.
Just image yourself, arriving in a new land with no provisions; many sick and starving among you, and yet thankful to God to be here, having escaped the religious persecution of the church in England which wouldn't allow them to worship in the manner that they pleased. During the first winter, half the pilgrims died because of the harsh elements and lack of food.
Because of their gratefulness, God provided a good harvest that summer and they came into fall with provisions for the winter.
Being grateful to God, the Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. It was America's first Thanksgiving Festival.
Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving in these words:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling (bird hunting) so that we might, after special manner, rejoice together after we gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT."
But it was actually President Abraham Lincoln who permanently established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday. It should be noted that President Lincoln was so shaken by the Battle at Gettysburg when he saw the graves there and having suffered the loss of his own son, that he committed his life to Christ, therefore forever placing his life in the hands of almighty God.
It is important for us as Americans to remember the same faith that brought our founders and forefathers forward throughout the generations that caused them to pause once a year in a day of prayerful thanks to God almighty.
It is the same faith that causes us to pause next week to remember the God who provides our nation with it's bountiful harvests each year and will continue to bless us as we remember Him next week.
So we pause today and we prayerfully ask that God will Bless You and Your Family next week at Thanksgiving as we pause to give thanks to Him who provides for all of us all year long.....
I received this in an email from the owners of the Fort Worth Running Company. I thought it was worth sharing and remembering.