A Time to Be Thankful


What is the first word one might think of when he hears, “Thanksgiving?”  Turkey and sweetpotatoes?  Family gathering?  Men wearing funny black hats with buckles?  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Whatever one might think, it probably has to do with his or her typical thanksgiving tradition.

Those who know the history of this day know that Thanksgiving was first a celebration of God’s provision.  The Pilgrims, who had come to America looking for freedom to practice Puritan Christianity, and met many hardships in the new land.  An Indian named Squanto showed them how to farm the land.  After a hard winter, the Pilgrims, or Puritans, wanted to celebrate the fact that their colony had survived.  Thus, they invited an Indian tribe to join them in feasting to celebrate God’s protection and provision.  Not until Lincoln was president did Thanksgiving become a national holiday.  From that time on, families have celebrated this day with food and tradition.  In the process of celebrating, have Americans forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about?

I hear people complaining about their lives all the time, whether directly or indirectly.  It gets tiring, especially since I live in the richest nation in the world, the United States of America.  It is especially annoying to hear Christians complaining, since they have the most to be thankful for!  I think God must be disappointed with us if we complain most of the time when he has given us so much.

This holiday, we should thank God for all he has given us.  If you don’t know where to start, look to the Constitution.  We have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and many other rights, including freedom from tyranny.  This year, I made a list of things that I am thankful for, numbering each thing.  When I had finished, I saw over 120 things to be thankful for, and could still add more to the list.  This Thanksgiving, if you do not do it already, set aside time to thank God for all he has given you and your family, even if the list seems small.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

-Psalm 100:4