I had intended to spend time today writing a blog about all I’m thankful for, wondering how to do that without sounding trite, which is odd, considering it’s those “trite” blessings we take most for granted—clean running water, electricity, cars, health, and family.
Then I re-discovered this most profound statement, written in the 89th year of our nation’s existence, before electricity and working indoor plumbing made it to the White House (interestingly, there were toilets installed, but no running water, so the president and his family used outhouses). It was written by a man for whom the telegraph was a modern marvel, and whose family suffered a great deal from disease, mental illness, and tragedy, a man experts believe sufferred from extreme depression.
So, I will not blog my own thoughts today, but instead defer to a “guest blogger” who understood the true meaning of thankfulness, and knew what really matters. Wishing you all a warm, bountiful, humble day of thanks.
It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. –Psalm 28:7