Image source: K&MSchad
This past week has been hard – like every other week of the year. During the week, we in the USA celebrated ‘thanksgiving’ on Thursday 26 November. This is a national holiday in the USA, with a history going back 400 years, to the first Christian group, who were running away from persecution in Europe and settled here.
These first settlers called themselves Pilgrims; life was really hard for them, but after their harvests, they set a day to give thanks to God as a community. A lot has happened in the USA in the 400 years since that first thanksgiving – good and bad, pleasure and pain – like everywhere else in the world.
The Pilgrims could have focused only on their many hardships, and not give thanks; we can also choose to focus only on the ‘sins and evil’ of the USA and not give thanks; or focus on the hardships in our lives and celebrate nothing.
In this present world, we will always have hard times and good times, pleasure and pain, tears and joy – not just in the USA, but everywhere. The story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent in Genesis Chapter 3 partly explains why this is so.
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NLT)(shortened): “What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time… And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.”
What do we get from all our hard work? If nothing else, we get food and drink, as fruits of our labor – an assurance that goes way back to Genesis 3, and it is a gift from God. In hard times, with pain and tears not far away, we will give thanks for the simple daily pleasures we derive from food and drink, for these are gifts from God.
Happy thanksgiving, and may the Lord keep us to celebrate even more thanksgivings in the years to come, Amen!