Open the Thanksgiving Window
In the midst of the greatest transition ever undertaken by the United States, General George Washington issued a General Order on November 30, 1777 stating in part:
For as much as it is the indispensable duty of all men, to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligations to him for benefits received, and to implore such further blessings as they stand in need of; and if having pleased him in his abundant mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also, to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense of our unalienable rights and liberties.
It is therefore recommended by Congress, that Thursday the 18th Day of December next be set apart for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; that at that time, and with one voice, the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts …
During a time of war, with all the hardships that it brings, one may wonder why General Washington and Congress would exhort the people of our struggling nation to have grateful feelings in their hearts and express their gratitude to God.
We could pose the same question concerning Daniel, a captive serving in a foreign land separated from family and friends. The United States gave thanks in the middle of the Revolutionary War because they believed God was helping them and would continue to do so. Daniel believed the same. He gave thanks in a time when his life was on the line—interpret the king’s dream or die. He gave thanks to God for giving him a revelation of the dream. God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer showed his personal involvement in Daniel’s life. Daniel spontaneously sang a hymn of thanksgiving to God for making wisdom available in his time of need.
In Girl Meets Change, former military wife Kristen Strong describes the role of thanksgiving in the midst of transition: “When change wipes all the natural light from the rooms of my heart, being thankful is the way to usher it back in.… We understand that when change plants us in a windowless room, gratitude gives us a window to welcome the light …”
Praise and thanksgiving is our acknowledgement of God’s help and presence. God entered Daniel’s situation and brought the light of his power and wisdom. Sister, his wisdom is available to you; his greatness is yours to experience! Hallelujah!