By: Chris “Topher” Aderhold
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I am reminded of a story I recently heard – maybe it’s a legend, but a story, nonetheless – about the first Thanksgiving.
As the early settlers gathered that first autumn to give thanks for the many blessings they’d received during the course of the past year, they began their feast with but five kernels of corn on each plate. It had been a plentiful harvest that spring and summer, so this measly beginning to their meal might have seemed odd. These early pilgrims though, without explanation, knew the significance of what may have been America’s first appetizer. Five kernels of corn was the daily ration per person throughout the course of their first winter in the new land. They had arrived ill-prepared for the arduous winter that awaited, and therefore tiny rations were required to survive.
Survive they did, and though five kernels per day was very little, they knew that those five kernels were the difference between living and dying. They gave God thanks even for their five kernels per day.
The pilgrims were no doubt abundantly thankful for their successful harvest, but how much more so because of the trials they faced previously.
Isn’t it more satisfying, and don’t we give more thanks, when it is more challenging to accomplish something?
Before the rest of the meal was served that first Thanksgiving, someone rose and recited chapter 8 of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy contains the words of Moses to the Israelites as they neared the end of their 40-year Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land. Chapter 8 (the abridged text of which is below) specifically contains Moses’ warning to not forget God and to not forget all He did to help them survive their journey. They had encountered hardships and challenges along the way, but His blessings and His manna were the difference between life and death.
With the five kernels, the pilgrims were reminded of the hardships they had overcome by the grace of God. With the reading of chapter 8 of Deuteronomy, they were reminded of the similar hardships the Israelites had overcome by the grace of God.
As has been previously documented, the Camp Gray family has encountered some hardships in the past couple years.
By the grace of God, and with your support, we’ve been able to continue thriving as a Camp, in spite of these hardships. We couldn’t be more thankful for your support and prayers over this time, and we’re abundantly thankful for your continued support, for without it, there truly wouldn’t be a Camp Gray.
Come on back to the Camp Gray blog tomorrow for an exciting Thanksgiving Eve post by Jeff!
Deuteronomy 8, NIV (abridged)
“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
“Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land – a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil, and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God.
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”
Thanks for tuning in, friends!
We wish you a restful and joy-filled Thanksgiving!
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