This Thanksgiving count your blessings
By GARY ANDREWS
What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it a day of family fun, visiting, eating, watching ballgames, etc. or is it a time that all of us should realize what the Almighty God has blessed us with?
Thanksgiving ceremonies first took place in 1565, however we recognize Thanksgiving from the Pilgrims and the Indians held at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623.
This day was set aside following a time of drought, when prayers for rain resulted in a subsequent rain shower and the Pilgrims were able to save their harvest. It was a time when the Indians helped the Pilgrims in their time of need and were invited to the celebration feast. Thanks were offered to the Lord for His bounty and good blessings.
President George Washington issued a proclamation and created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government on Oct. 3, 1789. Within this proclamation were the words: “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”
For the next few years the Presidents of the United States proclaimed a time for Thanksgiving Day because of the bountiful mercies that only God can give. The U.S. Congress in 1941 passed a bill requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November.
For many years the people of America have celebrated Thanksgiving because God has blessed them in so many ways. It is a time when all of us should count our blessings and be encouraged that we have a great and mighty God looking out for us. Remember what Jesus tells us in John 14:27; “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
It is my sincere hope that each one of us will take time and count the many blessings that have come from the good Lord above. We can continue to have our fun, food, and fellowship with our family and friends but let’s remember why the first Thanksgiving began.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for watching over me, my family and friends. Continue to bless us as you have and allow us to serve you through our actions. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday - Psalm 25:16-18: Monday - 1 Peter 5:5-11; Tuesday - Proverbs 3:5-6; Wednesday - Psalm 34:1-8; Thursday - Matthew 11:28; Friday - Isaiah 25:1; Saturday - 2 Corinthians 1:20-22).
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals. com.