Recently I came across some remarks that Abraham Lincoln made regarding our national Thanksgiving celebrations. His remarks caused me to pause and think. He said:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to prayer for clemency and forgiveness.”
I invite you to join me in “chewing” on that phrase, “… we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace.”
Truthfully, you and I unconsciously depend on His redeeming grace every day. We depend on His common grace, because without gravity, nothing stays put. Without air, no one lives. And without the sun nothing grows.
But we also depend on His specific grace. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17). He sends that raise our way. He keeps our particular body functioning. He gives us meaningful work and cherished relationships. He delights His children with food, drink and an amazing world to explore.
He blesses families with children. He extends the lives of the elderly. He gives melodies to song writers and words to novelists. It is His good gift that we often claim as our own “good idea.”
We dare not become so self-sufficient that we don’t see His fingerprints all over our lives.
So this week, let’s extend the Thanksgiving aura for a few more days. And be intentional about our recognition of His blessings. It is indeed His hand that preserves us in peace and strengthens us through regular days!