Point of Inspiration: Devotionals for Personal and Corporate Worship
Robert D. Pace
In the early 20th Century, Guideposts Magazine published a story by the poet, William Stidger. It disclosed a letter he had written to his literature teacher, which thanked her for instilling a love for poetry. Stidger’s teacher wrote back: “I want to let you know how much your letter meant to me. I am . . . in my eighties, living alone in a small room. I taught for fifty years, yet in all that time, yours is the first letter of appreciation I have ever received.”
Sadly, gratitude is a virtue lacking in many people—especially Americans. With so much to be thankful for, Americans should be chief among the nations when it comes to acknowledging the goodness of God.
George Washington, acting upon a Resolution by the US Federal Congress, named November 26, 1789 as a day of thanksgiving to God. Subsequent Presidents announced days for “national thanksgiving” but in 1863, it was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving Day an official federal holiday. Congress instituted it to express gratitude toward God for His providence, grace, and goodness. It had agreed with the actions of the Pilgrims that observed one day a year to express thanks to God for directing them to America.
Today, the essence of Thanksgiving is largely forgotten or ignored. It has mutated into a week of recreation, shopping, and binging on sports events. But it’s Christians that can preserve the sanctity of this holiday and perpetuate its purpose.
So, whatever your traditions and however festive your celebration may be on this sacred holiday, include a time of purposed thanksgiving to God. Thank him for all his provisions; Acknowledge how he has protected you and your family; With heart-felt gratitude, thank him for answering your prayers this year; And most importantly, give thanks to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for saving your soul! On this Thanksgiving Day, make certain to put thanks unto God at its center!