One of the things I admire most about the Pilgrims is that they really were a thankful people. We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving … or do we?
The Thanksgiving Americans are celebrating today provides but a very tiny glimpse into the lives of what were some of the most thankful people that ever walked on planet Earth. Here’s a few facts about these courageous and very thankful Pilgrims:
- Persecuted and imprisoned in England, they remained joyful that they were together as families and as a church.
- Escaped to Holland, away from friends and family, had to get new jobs, lived on practically nothing and yet were happy they had a place to live, work and worship in peace.
- Mocked by sailors for their faith and were on the receiving end of daily curses and slurs, but were excited at the opportunity to build a city on a hill in a new land.
- Sailed to America in harsh seas, on a small ship with sickness and fatigue for two months in a dangerous ocean yet were thankful for God’s Sovereignty in allowing them to have a hand in civil government. (Read the Mayflower Compact.)
- Arrived in the wrong place and at the wrong time (dead of winter) … but were thankful and even optimistic at the possibilities before them.
- Terrified of the “savages” in America, but were thankful and relieved to have escaped the high-church “savages” in England who wanted them disfigured, dead or in prison.
- Buried half their number the first winter, but were thankful when spring finally came and even more thankful for those still alive.
- Planted crops when the weather warmed and immediately faced a severe drought during the growing season … yet felt “blessed” in the fall for the “abundance” they had during that first harvest.
You know, we talk a lot about self-reliance and survival on Off The Grid News. But the truth is, if you want to learn about survival first-hand, our Pilgrim forefathers are the real “poster boys” for self-reliance. And they provide a true “case study” in surviving when things look bleakest.
So you have to ask yourself … why? Why did they persevere with death so often knocking at their door? What was their motivation? What kept them going when they felt like giving up?
The answer is simple. They were people of deep Christian faith. They trusted that God, somehow … always had their back. And they believed that they were part of something much, much bigger than themselves. They believed in God’s Providence.
So here we are in “Thanksgiving” 2014. Now for fun, take this little survival test: Review the Eight Thankful “Pilgrim” Points above. How would you score if you were actually there? How would you score if you were looking death right square in the eye as these folks did almost daily? When I’m honest with myself … I’m ashamed at how I would truly score.
Pilgrim Survival Secret Revealed!
What’s the secret to the Pilgrim life? Their lives were testimony to the answer. Here it is: Thanking God for whatever He brings our way. And that means every single adversity we face. Some of them terrible and tragic. Yep, even today … life can be full of overwhelming adversity. It can leave you wondering about the future. It sure makes me wonder!
But there’s one thing I don’t wonder about, one thing I know for sure: I’m truly thankful for you … our readers. “Thanks” from all of us here at Off The Grid News.
Before the day is over, think about all the things you do have. Compared to the Pilgrims, you’ve got a lot!
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!