As we are now in the season of “Thanksgiving” here in the United States, I wanted to take a few days to share my thoughts, based on Bible Scriptures, about “Thanksgiving.”
Let’s just do a quick history lesson of sorts, about the REAL Thanksgiving…
Way, way back, in 1623, three years AFTER the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Mass., this celebration was started to give thanks to God for the provision of that year.
You see, it was a tough going the first two years…
The life and voyage the Pilgrims experienced was tough.
They lost over half of the people they started, the winters were brutal, and they would have starved to death but for the Indians who were willing to help them out.
The Pilgrims had a choice to make. They could give thanks to God for the fact they were alive and functioning.
They could have cursed God for the fact they lost well over half of the people they left England with. Or they could have cursed God because they did not land in FLORIDA!
The other choice they had was to just forget about what God did for them and just live out their lives.
They chose to give thanks. Even though they had a lot they could complain about, they chose to give thanks. They knew who to give the glory to.
We can go through life complaining or we can spend our lives giving thanks!
We can relate this to the story in the Bible of the Ten Lepers that were healed by Jesus. Turn to Luke 17:11-19…
Sometimes, we read this story too quickly. So I am actually going to take a few days to walk through this with you.
We start with ten men who have the worst disease of their day. The physical ramifications are horrendous. Leprosy attacks the body, leaving sores, missing fingers, missing toes, damaged limbs. In many cases, the initial pain of leprosy gives way to something more terrible than that - a loss of sensation in nerve endings, leading to more damage to more body parts. The disease can take 30 years to run its course, and in that time span, entire limbs can simply fall off. It is, assuredly, a most horrible disease. We have nearly an impossible task in trying to fathom what it was like 2,000 years ago, when medical treatment as we know it today was almost non-existent.
But the emotional pain of the lepers was actually worse than the physical pain. Be forcibly separated from their loved ones…was probably the toughest part.
The loved ones would come and give them food, but they had to stay far away and leave it for them. Then the leper could approach and eat it. But often, especially if they were disabled, other lepers would come and eat it before they arrived.
I know I’m about out of time for today. So let me close with this…
These 10 lepers had heard about the miracles of Jesus. If there was anyone that could help them, it was Him.
So, they asked Him to heal them. And He did. Scripture says as “they went their way” to show themselves to the Priests, ONE turned around and came back to give thanks to Jesus.
And we are still talking about him to this day. We never hear about the other nine. Nothing.
But we still talk about the ONE.
So, in this season of Thanksgiving, please STOP and, just like the Pilgrims – and just like the ONE leper, make a decision to GIVE THANKS to the Lord for what He has provided.
It may not be anywhere near what you were hoping to have reaped this past year. But you still can give Him thanks for what He has provided.
And that is all that really matters…
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