Celebrating Thanksgiving in Hard Times

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Hard Times

Excerpt:

Our Pilgrim forbearers faced difficult times in the year before their first Thanksgiving in America. Nevertheless, they found reasons to praise God for their survival in a brutal wilderness.

The original Pilgrims fled to Holland in 1608 and then to America in 1620 because they were suffering persecution and imprisonment in England for their Biblical faith. Their stay in Holland was short because, although they found spiritual liberty there, a disjointed economy failed to provide adequate compensation for their labors, and a degraded and corrupt culture was tempting their children to stray from the faith.

Determined to protect their families from these spiritual and cultural dangers, the Pilgrims uprooted their community and sailed for a New World in America that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. Despite the hardships they encountered in these wanderings, the Pilgrims considered themselves to be “stepping stones” for future generations, whether they lived or died. Their focus was on the future and on faithfulness to God. They trusted God to sustain them in good years and bad.

Image Source: Norman Rockwell

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