Philippians 4:19 (New International Version)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
As we prepare for Thanksgiving day let's take a look at the beginnings of Thanksgiving.
Almost 400 years ago in the country of England (on the other side of the ocean) a group of people called Pilgrims wanted to come to America so that they could worship God. They packed up their belongings, left their houses, and boarded a ship called the Mayflower. There were 102 people on that ship, and most of them were children.
It was very crowded and the journey was difficult. Many grown-ups and children got seasick. Others got sick because they didn't have fruits and vegetables to eat and they didn't have fresh water to drink or to wash in. But God didn't give up on them. He kept watching over them and blessing them. There was even a baby born on the Mayflower! Because he was born on the ocean, his parents named him Oceanus!
The voyage took a long, long time. When the Pilgrims finally got to land, their troubles were not over. By then, it was winter. There weren't any houses to live in. There wasn't much food to eat. In fact, on some days, each person got only a few kernels of corn! Because it was so cold and they didn't have much food, many more people got sick. Many even died.
How do you think they felt? I suppose some of them even wanted to quit and go back to England. They might have done that, but they knew God had led them to their new land, and they trusted him.
When spring came, God sent Native Americans to help the Pilgrims. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and fertilize it by putting fish in the ground with the corn seeds. The Pilgrims worked hard that summer growing food and building houses. When fall came, God gave them a great harvest. The Pilgrims knew God had helped them, and they were very thankful to him.
To celebrate God’s goodness to them, they had a feast—a thanksgiving feast. They invited their new friends, the Native Americans, to eat with them. It was the first Thanksgiving, and the celebration lasted for three days!
Just like the Pilgrims, we have struggles too. Sometimes people we love get sick. Sometimes we feel sad or lonely. Sometimes we are afraid. No matter what struggles and troubles we face, God keeps on loving us. He always gives us exactly what we need.
God loves you! He won’t always take your struggles away, but he promises that he will stay with you. He will always help you, no matter what. God loves you so much that he sent his own Son, Jesus, to die for you to take your sins away. That is the best gift ever! And because God loved us enough to give us his very best Gift—Jesus—we know he will give us everything else we need, too.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the many gifts you give to us, thank you for the many ways you help us each day. We thank for the day we have set aside to be thankful. We pray for safety for all those who will be traveling to spend tomorrow with their loved ones. In Jesus’ name, Amen.