Thanksgiving

tuscany sunset, ItalyPsalm 100
All Lands Summoned to Praise God

A Psalm of thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

The focus of Thanksgiving in November is a reflection upon the season following a very difficult winter and year after the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower.  This year I focused some of my free time researching and reading about my ancestry. Through my great mothers’ line, I can trace my heritage back to the Mayflower.  The arrival in Plymouth was not the intended destination, but where they had to make landfall due to many issues.   The winter was harsh and difficult, with many (half of the original passenger and crew) losing their lives as they worked to build shelters and find means of food while they lived on the ship.  In Spring they moved to land and into the shelters and homes built.  They developed good relationships with the Abenaki and other indigenous people groups living there at the time. The following fall, after a successful harvest, a celebration was organized with some of the indigenous people groups invited to join them in the festivities.  The focus of the celebration was to thank God for providing for them even though very difficult trials that included losing half of the person who began the journey through disease, ill health, and bad weather.  They were thankful for the people they met, especially the one who spoke their language, the friendship that began, along with trade and knowledge of what to grow and how to grow the food for that climate.

As we consider this year, we think of the good, as well as the bad, that has taken place in our lives. As we think back, do we see the hand of God even during difficulties, trails, and tribulations?  Has God brought situations and others in your life that have given you hope, new life, new vision, and encouragement? Sometimes when life becomes difficult we can not see the positive circumstances that God has provided for us unless we allow someone to show us the beauty of the forest through the trees. God loves us, and He loves to use others to show that love to us during the good and difficult times. Many have found that the difficulties and victories we have experienced in life become a place of help and encouragement to someone else. Allow God this Thanksgiving to help you see those things you can be thankful for in life today, whether it be a lesson, a word of encouragement, or showing others the Love of God to shine the light of hope into their lives.

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