Marla Smart: A quick history lesson on Thanksgiving | Moms

Next week is the feast. Hopefully, all your groceries are bought and recipes have been pulled.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the production of the next week. I encourage you to take a few minutes to understand why we celebrate and Who we should thank.

This week in school we have been talking about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. Please allow me to give you a simple third grade history lesson for Thanksgiving:

Before the Pilgrims came to America, a Native American named Squanto had been abducted by European explorers and taken to England. He was able to learn some English and trained to be an interpreter for explorers to the New World.

Eventually, Squanto travelled back to America where he was abducted for a second time and taken to Spain. There, he learned of the Christian faith and travelled back to England to try and find a way back home.

After many years, Squanto made another trip across the Atlantic to America. He found that his tribe had all died and he had no home.

During this time, the Pilgrims had made their way to America and struggled through a very harsh winter. They did not know what they were doing and therefore were not prepared for what happened. Many were lost during that season.

Squanto found a home with another tribe, led by Chief Massasoit. Another native named Samoset introduced him to the Pilgrims.

Squanto, with his knowledge of the English language became a teacher for the Pilgrims. He taught them how to fish and plant crops, what berries and nuts to gather, how to make maple syrup and sugar, and where to hunt for meat.

At harvest time, the Pilgrims invited Squanto and his friends from Chief Massasoit’s tribe to celebrate a meal of thanksgiving with them. Both groups provided food and they celebrated for three days.

The two groups lived in peace for 50 years after that.

We are thankful for so many good things happening in our lives. What about when the things are not going as well as you would like? Can you be thankful in those times?

Squanto probably didn’t feel like he had much to be thankful for. He was abducted from his land twice. Things were not going so well, but he learned English and was also saved from what killed his tribe while he was gone. I would say the Lord intervened there.

Without the Lord’s protection, Squanto would have died way before the Pilgrims arrived. And without Squanto’s help, the Pilgrims would not have learned what they needed to know to live in America.

This next week, take time to make a true list of thanks. What wondrous things have been done for you this year? It’s pretty exciting to see how the Lord has used every circumstance.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, NIV


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The News-Review Updated Nov 28, 2013 09:36AM Published Nov 28, 2013 09:36AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.