In 1620, the Pilgrims came to America seeking freedom to worship God as they felt the Bible taught. After a long, hard sea voyage of over two months, they landed and established their colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Again they suffered, as they were not prepared for the cold, harsh winter. Many died. But the Lord provided for them through an Indian, named Squanto, who knew some English from time spent in England. He taught the Pilgrims much about raising corn, fishing, and hunting in this new land. In the fall of 1621, both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag peoples celebrated the first Thanksgiving here in America. This was three days of celebrating with thanks and praise to the Lord for the bountiful harvest.
Today, we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving by giving thanks for our food (the Thanksgiving feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, corn, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie!), for our houses, cars, jobs, school and good grades, money, telephones, computers, other electronic gadgets, and so much more. We thank Him for more important things, such as health, family, friends, co-workers, country, church, and ministry. We may even go to a higher level and thank God for our salvation, home in Heaven, eternal life, promised rewards, peace, joy, and victory. What great blessings we have from God! But so often, our giving of thanks is turned away from “the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17), and turned to the things God has given. This Thanksgiving, and every other day of the year, let us determine to spend some time thanking God for who He is – the Eternal One who has no needs but wants to fellowship with us; the Guide who leads each step of our lives; the Friend who sticks closer than a brother and loves us with an everlasting love; the All- powerful One who sees our every need and can satisfy it; the Counselor who knows all the struggles we face and helps us through them; the Cornerstone that never shifts or changes, giving us a strong foundation for our lives; and the Light of the World who shines His light in this dark world. This Thanksgiving as we give thanks, let us focus on the gifts and the Giver (God).