The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.
 Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.
The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!
I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory!
Psa. 118:14-15, 21, NLT

Every Thanksgiving, each person at our table receives three pieces of candy corn, commemorating the three day feast the pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans shared in 1621. The first year in North America, more than half of the colonists died of starvation and disease. Only 52 of the original 102 passengers of the Mayflower remained alive. If not for Massasoit and his people’s help teaching them what to plant, how to hunt and fish, and build solid homes, perhaps none would have survived.

They weren’t aware that they were celebrating the first Thanksgiving, but they were very thankful that God had supplied for their needs. They had endured spiritual persecution, the tumultuous passage by sea, and a year of deprivation. But they survived and their natural response was gratitude to God.

I love hearing what everyone says when we take turns saying one thing we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving Day, until all three candy corns are gone. No blessings can be repeated, but we have so many to choose from it’s not a problem!

This month, as we look forward to this day to gather, whether with biological family or friends nearby, there are many who just can’t wait to begin “going round the table.” Last night at small group, we each shared one thing we’re thankful for. Many are posting each day this month on Facebook. Others, through blogs, emails, and text messages are choosing to celebrate a season of gratitude all month long.

Why not? We too have endured storms, sickness, hardship, and loss, but God has brought us through. Many of us have received the help of friends – old and new – and learned important lessons along the way. We praise God who is behind every blessing.

God is our strength and our song. He has given us victory over financial loss, death, disappointments, and shattered dreams. We will sing songs of joy and praise. He has answered our prayers – maybe not the way we had hoped or expected, but He hears our cries for help. He sends His angels of protection to shield and guide us through the darkness. He gives His Spirit to comfort us as we grieve. He comes personally to be among us day by day. He has done glorious things! I will be thankful.