A Grateful Nation

By, Linda Stockton

I sat with my family at church on Sunday as the congregation sang the hymn, Prayer of Thanksgiving. For those not familiar with this hymn, the lyrics, first verse, are,

“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing,

He hastens and chastens, His will to make known.

The wicked oppressing, now cease from distressing,

Sing praises to His name; He forgets not His own.”

These words and the melody have periodically been running through my mind throughout this week, appropriately, as we begin preparations for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. But, also, in the bigger scheme of things, this is applicable to the current state of mind for many in the nation today. As we collectively hold our breath awaiting to see what a Trump Administration will look like once complete, and which, if any, campaign promises are actually followed through on, we can remember to do several things.

We can “gather together” as a nation and as a people for the good of our country. We can move forward in righteousness and keep our morals and values in the forefront as we make our voices and wishes known to our leaders. We can peaceably exert our will to ensure our rights as citizens and voters are protected.

We can remember that God is ever-present and will bless us, individually and as a nation if we sincerely ask. In James 1:5, we learn, “If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” This includes answers, blessings, guidance and comfort. God will “hasten and chasten” and His will shall be known.

I find comfort in the line that the “wicked oppressing” will “cease from distressing.” In other words, I know that wicked will not triumph over goodness. Truth and light will prevail as long as we are vigilant and keep seeking and fighting for good.

And finally, as we celebrate our many blessings, I pray that we may all “sing praises to His name” because God truly knows us and loves us. He is in control. And “He forgets not His Own.”

This Thanksgiving, may God Bless you and keep you. May you and yours celebrate all that you have to be thankful for in this country and in your life. May you realize the rich blessings and privileges you enjoy simply because you are an American. May you be grateful but also, willing to protect and defend those privileges. May you remember to be kind,to be gracious, to be compassionate, to be fierce, to be gentle, to be patriotic, to be smart, and to be humble. Happy Thanksgiving and may God Bless Us All.

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