Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 | Comments Off on Thanksgiving

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, withthanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6



“I can’t do it. I don’t feel like getting ready for the holidays this year. It’s too much work.” Following an illness and a medical procedure, with one more procedure looming in the near future, the thought of the hustle and bustle of the holidays was more than I wanted to think about. I was so tired.


              “Just take one thing at a time,” my husband said. Don’t try to do it all at once. “You don’t have to do everything either. Let some of it go this year.” 

               It’s easy to lose sight of what we’re celebrating. This year, a major chain store is opening its doors in the evening so that “Black Friday” shopping can begin earlier than midnight when many stores open. Everyone wants more than their share of the pie—and I don’t mean pumpkin pie. So what do we have to be thankful for? 

               The “first Thanksgiving” Americans typically refer to, took place in the fall of 1621, following their first successful harvest, a point, they reached, not without terrible trial. They arrived at Plymouth in December of 1620, too late to plant and with little time to build shelter. Three months at sea in difficult, crowded conditions took their toll. They began dying of colds which turned to pneumonia and consumption. In January, the thatched roof the “common house,” where many of the sick lay, caught fire. By February only five men were healthy enough to shoulder the burden of caring for the sick. In all, forty-seven people died, leaving only three families intact, yet they held firm to their faith. 

               The official proclamation, naming the fourth Thursday of November as a day of national thanksgiving was set forth by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. Lincoln cited “bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come… peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict…” 

              He went on to say, “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.” 

                My attitude needed readjustment, perhaps yours does also. Set aside the busyness, and take time to contemplate the blessings God has given, even in the midst of trial, and give thanks. 



Marshall, Peter, and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory. Copyright 1977 by Peter J. Marshall, 
               Jr.and David B. Manuel, Jr. Published by Fleming H. Revell adivision of Baker Book House
               Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Pp. 125-136.

© Copyright 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and All Rights Reserved.

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