“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” (Psalm 105:1)
Some have been saying, “Let’s hurry and get 2020 over. It’s been a bad year!” Perhaps we all need to think a little deeper and be realistic about the many blessings we have had in spite of the coronavirus. When George Washington made the first proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving, they had much more than we have to deal with now. A good reason to study history is to help us realize our current blessings.
Even in my lifetime, we dealt with smallpox, tuberculosis, polio, measles, whooping cough, and other diseases. At the time George Washington made his proclamation, many people had been starving, fighting local wars, struggling to survive without the modern conveniences we now enjoy. In the midst of all that, he still wrote the following:
“Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all governments, peace and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.”
Our first president made the above proclamation on Oct. 3, 1789. Later, Abraham Lincoln made another proclamation to set aside a day of Thanksgiving. Both presidents acknowledged the fact that God is good.
It would be good to have children copy this and/or other parts of the proclamations and discuss thankfulness in midst of testing.