We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks, For Your name is near; Men declare Your wondrous works. -Psalm 75:1 (NASB)
In the United States, the Thanksgiving Day holiday harkens back to the first harvest celebration by English settlers in the New England area.
This celebration and recounting of thanks was for all of God’s blessings found throughout very dark and bleak times that the Pilgrims faced: religious persecution, nearly losing the Mayflower in the Atlantic, mass illness and death, and starvation in the New World.
Through it all, God was there the whole time, through the thick and the thin. At the point when it seemed hope was gone, two Native Americans appeared who could actually speak English, and they and their tribes collaborated with the Pilgrims to survive…and then thrive. (There is much more, and bloodier, depths to the conflict between settlers and natives, beyond the scope of this post.) Out of the rich soil of suffering came…plenty and harvest. New beginnings.
God uses all things, situations, and people for the good of His children (Romans 8:28), and His promises continue today. Though sin is rampant today as it has been since the beginning, God is also with us, using everything to achieve His larger plan and blessing for us, to His glory.
Not just today, Thanksgiving Day, but every day, we recount His works and blessings, to use all things and people for His purposes.
Thank You, Lord, for this day, the food before us, the air we breathe, the people in our lives, and the situations we live in…for we know You will use all of it to Your glory.
Thank You for Your grace, despite how we stumble. Please continue to bless us and guide us so we may live for You, so that others see You when they look at us.
We thank You most of all for your Son and His finished work. Incline Your ear and hear our prayers. In Your Son Jesus’ name we pray, knowing it will be done. Amen.