As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, let us not forget that it took a national tragedy for Americans to pause and give thanks. We were in the midst of a civil war. The North was pitted against the South and some families were pitted against each other in the terrible conflict.
In may have been a revelation from God that caused Abraham Lincoln to declare a day of Thanksgiving in an effort to heal the nation’s wounds. Historians tell us that Lincoln sought to bind up the nation’s wounds by instilling in a divided national heart its former unity.
To this end, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation. He said, “In the midst of a civil war of unequal magnitude and severity, I invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father…and I recommend they fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty’s hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as may be consistent with the Divine purpose to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and union.”
We are not in civil war at this time but we are close. Our nation is divided in many ways and not only nationally but internationally we are fighting an ideology that is barbaric and extremely dangerous. There is very little peace on earth and good will toward men. At the same time our nation enjoys a level of prosperity unknown to many others. Interest rates and gas rates are down. Auto sales are up and merchants are optimistic as Americans line up with wallets and credit cards to buy an unprecedented amount of goods.
In Psalm 103:2 David said, “Bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not all his benefits. My thought for this week is this: Do not take your blessings for granted. Do not think for one moment that God owes you or that you deserve it or that you have earned it. The Bible tells us clearly that “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. Let us not forget to express our Thanks to God for all his blessings.
In His Love,