Day 25~ Thanksgiving Day!

Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 8:1–10

Historians have differing perspectives in relation to the first Thanksgiving celebrations in America, but we know some details are true. We know the Pilgrims’ journey from Holland to England to the New World was frightfully difficult, with sickness and storms on the arduous, weeks-long voyage. We know once they arrived, the task of carving dwellings out of the forest quick enough to hold back the advancing effects of winter was a losing race against time. Nearly half of those who made the trip didn’t survive the stay.

And yet with sheer survival the order of each day, and with fears for their families an all- consuming worry, their writings and recorded history are filled with demonstrations and attitudes of thanksgiving.

Each Sunday—in lean times as well as relatively plentiful—they gathered for prayer, meditation, the singing of hymns, and a sermon. It was their regular practice to stop and give thanks to God at the outset of each week.
Use your prayer time today to think back over the history of God’s faithfulness in your life, your family, and your church. Make a list of desperate situations or seasons when you have witnessed His providential protection and provision.

Pray for a Grateful Heart
Father God, You have been so very faithful to me over the course of my life, showing Your care and provision time and again. I’m so grateful for the way You have walked with me, sustained me, encouraged me, strengthened me, comforted me, and loved me in every season. Thank You! 

Life Application:

Thanksgiving day symbolizes so much joy and memories for me. Over the years, we have spent the Holiday with precious friends and family, and each year at Thanksgiving I'm reminded of God's faithfulness. My Father has always had a tradition of passing around five kernels of corn to each person after the feast has been shared, and our stomachs are full. Each person is invited to partake in a Thanksgiving celebration as we share what we are grateful for from the past year. It's always a treat to see how many times people share things that have impacted them, and changed their lives. And often those things are the things that at first glance we wouldn't be grateful for. 

I'm reminded of one particular Thanksgiving a few years ago, when I took the kernels of corn in my hand and began to think about how to express my gratefulness. The past year had been very hard for our family, with challenges that we never expected to face. As I began to think over the events of the past year, I couldn't think of anything I was more grateful for than the trials I had experienced. It felt very strange to say that the thing I was most grateful for were the trials that had come to our family. But it was the truth, because through those trials I had come closer to God than ever before. I had learned so much about God's faithfulness, and I had seen that God is with us no matter what happens or where we go. He gives us hope in spite of everything, He gives us joy even through so much pain. And He wants us to take this life and live like we were given another chance after a certain death. And when I looked at the trials I had faced this way, I knew I had nothing to more grateful for that Thanksgiving Day!

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