The Pilgrims and Indians held their now famous feast almost 400 years ago. As settlers in a world wholly different from their own, they faced hardship at every turn. If not for the providence of God their grand adventure would have ended in tragedy. Of the 100 or so who disembarked the Mayflower a year previous only 50 survived the harsh New England winter. One can only imagine the tears they shed and the despair they felt. These Christian Pilgrims had to be questioning the decisions they’d made and the God who had led them this far.
Fleeing religious persecution, these brave souls sailed to the New World with the idea of building a settlement on Christian principles. Their biggest dream was to live all of their lives to the glory of God and for every aspect of it to be ruled and directed by the principles they found in God’s word. Talk about a lofty aspiration. The Pilgrims no doubt believed the Lord would honor and bless their plans. One year in and it certainly didn’t look like it.
Then one day an Indian named Squanto walked into their camp, speaking perfect English. The story of how Squanto changed the fortunes of the Plymouth settlement is fascinating. It is a tale and testament to God’s sovereign care and provision for His people.
The temptation when we read stories like these is to view the plot and characters as wholly different from ourselves. We aggrandize the players and put them on a pedestal, when they and their story aren’t that markedly different. Time and space may separate us, but we find ourselves within the same unfolding story of God’s grace and in the same position of dependence upon Him. The Pilgrims recognized this and hit pause for a few days to stop and thank the Lord for His provision and care. As we eat turkey, watch football and gather with family and friends today, let us do likewise.
We have so much to be thankful for. Let us look to the Giver with a grateful heart and genuinely say, “Thank you.” Thank you not only for the daily provision of bread but for the ultimate provision of His Son that we may have life eternal.