As Thanksgiving Day 2021 is fast approaching, it’s good for each of us to reflect back in time to see what blessing we have received. This year has seen its uncertainties. Weather changes, market fluctuations, continuing pandemic protocols, stress and anxiety – as farmers, we have encountered many of these issues. Yet, we take a day every year to focus on gratitude, recognizing the provision, opportunity and abilities we have been given.
We know the story of the Pilgrims who came to North America and their celebration over a harvest of plenty after a long year of sickness and scarcity. Celebrating with their indigenous neighbours, they gave thanks to God for what they had received.
Every family with have their own special Thanksgiving Day traditions, but one constant remains: it’s a day of giving thanks and a celebration from a grateful heart. As Christians, we offer thanks with a grateful heart to our Father in Heaven who provides us with our daily needs.
As farmers, we recognize that even if we have first-class machinery, the best pedigree lines in livestock, the best hybrid seed, productive soils, management skills and more, we can’t forget that we don’t control the weather, that markets fluctuate, and even our own health can suffer.
We acknowledge that a Higher Being controls more than we could ever do. When the rain doesn’t come or comes and does not stop, when the winds blow harder than a crop can withstand, when bugs and disease overcome our efforts, or when our health begins to suffer, we come to see how small a part we really play in all the things around us.
For myself, Thanksgiving Day is the time of year to stand still and acknowledge that we are not our own. It’s time to give thanks to God for blessings received, even if some of my plans did not meet my expectations.
This time of year, we are reminded of the truth we read in Scripture: “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34, NRSV). Thanksgiving starts with a grateful heart. Happy Thanksgiving to all.