When Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, our country was in the middle of the Civil War. Loved ones were being lost daily on the battlefields in America and our country was being torn apart and full of uncertainty. It seemed there was little to be thankful for. Yet Lincoln saw the need to seek God and be thankful for His mercy and provision during the hard times, and ask for our country’s healing and prosperity in the future. It was a declaration of hope and trust in God that despite the turmoil in the present, God would faithfully work out His plan for the future.
Every year since, we’ve taken a day off to gather together in our homes and local communities for a special meal. We remember friendships, prosperities, and significant events that have shaped us. Some years the holidays are marked with gladness; other years they’re marked with heaviness and we may be going through painful experiences. But every year, whether we are able to acknowledge it or not, God has been faithful to us.