The spirit of Thanksgiving
By Craig J. Brown II, President & CEO
*Editor’s note: This information was published in the November 2021 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*
The history of America’s Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1621, when the Plymouth Colony settlers and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared a meal celebrating the harvest. This colony’s Thanksgiving celebrants had survived the 65-day-long Mayflower journey from England, where 102 men, women, and children crossed the storm-filled Atlantic Ocean in a space probably not much larger than the size of your home. Upon arrival, they struggled through a cruel New England winter: half of them died, including 14 of the group’s 18 mothers. Yet, they were so filled with a spirit of thanksgiving for God’s goodness, including the year’s bountiful harvest, that they felt compelled to have a Thanksgiving celebration.
In 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. In the declaration, he acknowledged that “we are prone to forget” and are “habitually insensible” to the source of our blessings: “Almighty God.”
These historical accounts are inspiring today because they’re significant testimonies to both human resilience and the heavenly hope we as Christians share no matter our current circumstances. Each of us can tap into a geyser of joy, healing, and hope that’s ready to explode inside our soul when we start counting our blessings. Johnson Oatman Jr.’s hymn challenges us to, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!”
At Christian Healthcare Ministries, we give thanks and praise to God for the innumerable blessings we’ve received from His good hands: blessings in the past, blessings today, and blessings to come. Please know how thankful we are for you, our wonderful members, and for the opportunity to serve you. On behalf of the entire CHM team, we wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving season!