thanksgiving

So, is America still worth loving?  Is our country still worth saving? And, is it still worth thanking Almighty God for?  

The answer is an unequivocal YES!  But with the endless controversy regarding NFL players (and others) who refuse to stand for our national anthem, and an unsettling lack of patriotism these days, especially among millennials and younger, we begin to wonder if the unequivocal “yes” will be soon be replaced with a wishy-washy “maybe.”  

Sadly, in many universities and all walks of life, the new generation of young adults is not encouraged to appreciate this nation as previous generations were.  Young adults are constantly told how bad America is, and, if not reversed, this continual conditioning to not love America will seriously undermine our national identity and even our national security.   

How do members of the NFL who have become millionaires for playing a game face themselves in the mirror each day?  Why do politically-leftist Hollywood actors, who make a living by pretending in front of a camerathink it okay to denigrate the USA that has given them their opulent lifestyle? And why do any of them think that their status gives them the right to preach their subjective beliefs as “truth” to a non-discerning public?

The pilgrims gave thanks for the country in which they lived and the abundance of blessings their God provided.  Shouldn’t we be always doing the same? Regardless of what notch on the political spectrum one might occupy, we must remember that family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers are all much more important than the petty squabbles around the dinner table, water cooler, or on social media.  We should not let celebrity opinions dictate our thinking or our thanksgiving.  

This Thanksgiving though the issues of the day are very real, let us set them aside for a moment. May the good Lord move upon us as He did those first pilgrims. Pilgrim Edward Winslow gave insight into the meaning of that first Thanksgiving:

“Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together … Many of the Indians came amongst us, and their greatest King, Massosoit, with some 90 men, who for 3 days we entertained and feasted … And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are far from want.”

This spirit of rejoicing was shared in 1621 by a group of pious men and women who had suffered the loss of half their community to sickness and the elements in less than a year.

But it can still be said today: “By the goodness of God, we are far from want.” Rather than grousing about America or even talking politics at the dinner table this year — be very intentional about cultivating a grateful heart, and keeping the right priorities in order.

Let’s thank God for the gift of each day.  And for simple, but vital, things.  Things like family, friendships, the air we breathe, the fresh water we drink, the food that nourishes our bodies, and every gift our God provides.  They are plentiful and we should be always thankful.

Just for one day, forget about what’s happening in politics. Forget about the moral decline and the increase in sin in our nation.  Be grateful for whatever is on your plate and whatever is the condition of our country. Remember our God is a good God who provides abundantly for all our needs. Love the people around you and, in doing so, show them the love of Jesus.  Make sure to “take a knee” and by this I mean a knee bowed in prayer.  Take time to quiet yourself and open your heart before God.  Let your heart be still, be reflective, and be grateful.  We are so blessed.  

And after a Thanksgiving Day of gratefulness and peace, take up the mantle again and speak up about the state our country is in and tell of the one true remedy.  Open the eyes of the “blind” and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins… (Acts 26:18) and follow hard after God (Psa 63:8).  

Thankfulness to God and a bold proclamation of His saving grace will change the condition of our country.

Our country is still worth loving, and still worth our thanksgiving to the God who blesses America!

Alex McFarland is a speaker, writer, author, educator, and advocate for Christian Apologetics. He serves as director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Greenville, South Carolina and as organizer of the Truth for a New Generation Conferences. He also co-hosts the radio program “Exploring the Word,” airing weekdays on American Family Radio.  For more information about Alex’s speaking ministry, or to book him to speak at an event, visit www.alexmcfarland.com.

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