Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Squanto

Most of us have heard the story of the first Thanksgiving—at least of the Pilgrims. But not many have heard of all the events leading up to that first Thanksgiving. Historians believe that around 1608—more than a decade before the Pilgrims landed in the New World—a group of English traders, led by Captain Hunt, sailed to what is today Plymouth, Massachusetts. When the trusting Wampanoag Indians came out to trade, Hunt took them prisoner, transported them to Spain, and sold them into slavery.

But God had an amazing plan for one of the captured Indians—a boy named Squanto. A well-meaning Spaniard, who treated him well and taught him the Christian faith, bought Squanto. Squanto eventually made his way to England and worked in the stable of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn’t until 1619—ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped—that a ship was found. Finally, after a decade of exile and heartbreak, Squanto was on his way home. But when he arrived in Massachusetts, more heartbreak awaited him. An epidemic had wiped out Squanto’s entire village.

We can only imagine what must have gone through Squanto’s mind. Why had God allowed him to return home, against all odds, only to find his loved ones dead? A year later, the answer came. A shipload of English families arrived and settled on the very land once occupied by Squanto’s people. Squanto went to meet them, greeting the startled Pilgrims in English.

According to the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, Squanto “became a special instrument sent of God for [our] good... He showed [us] how to plant corn, where to take fish and to procure other commodities... and was also [our] pilot to bring [us] to unknown places for [our] profit, and never left [us] till he died.”

Only God could have orchestrated these events to preserve the Pilgrims when they landed in the New World. God in His sovereignty answered the Pilgrims’ prayers years before they arrived in Plymouth.

God is doing the same things in our lives as well. Even when we think all is lost, God knows the ending. He is preparing us for something greater just down the road of life. We don’t have to understand what He’s doing; we simply must trust Him. Even when you face trials or setbacks, you can be thankful. Be thankful God is watching over you! Rather than focusing on this earth’s problems today, think of Heaven’s glory and thank God for preparing a place for you to spend eternity with Him.

I think this is good for us all to remember, especially with the great uncerntainty our nation and WORLD are now facing as a result of this election.

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