Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bountiful Blessings

“I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalm 86:12)

Thanksgiving is a time of sharing, giving and offering thanks. It is also a time of planning delicious meals in cheerful anticipation of dining with family and friends. But imagine in the midst of all the preparations, a large crowd of people showed up unexpectedly hoping to partake in the festivities with you. How would you feed everyone?

This is exactly the dilemma the Pilgrims faced in the fall of 1621 when Squanto and Chief Massasoit showed up a day early before the pre-arranged Thanksgiving feast with 90 additional members of the Wampnoag tribe. The Pilgrims had not planned on feeding such a large number of guests, and to do so would cut deeply into the food supply they had stored for the hard winter months ahead.

The Pilgrims had always placed their trust in God and by His grace, they were able to endure many hardships on the long voyage across the Atlantic and during the year’s time it took to establish their settlement. God had repaid their steadfast love and faith by blessing them with a bountiful harvest. So they knew immediately who to turn to in their despair while desperately praying for an answer, which was soon forthcoming. As it turned out, the Wampnoags did not show up empty handed. They brought many provisions that were combined with the Pilgrims’ feast preparations and made for a wonderful banquet that lasted three days.

About a month later, 35 new colonists arrived in Plymouth out of the blue and the Pilgrims were again faced with the problem of how to feed and shelter the newcomers. As before, they turned to God for guidance and were given the wisdom on how to divide and ration their supplies in the months ahead. At the end of a cold, bleak winter, not one person had died of starvation! The following year, the Pilgrims planned, planted and reaped a bountiful harvest and once again celebrated in thanks with the Wampnoags, who brought even more tribe members to the festivities.

Now, as this time of Thanksgiving draws near let us do as the Pilgrims did so long ago – trust in God….always. And let us be thankful for His bountiful blessings. Amen!

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