• easpenner

By the Goodness of God

"...although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want..."


"...they might not have everything they want, but by the goodness of God, they have everything they need..."


Her words slid into my ears like a Heavenly whisper from Our Father Himself, as we discussed an excerpt of a letter from the first pilgrim harvest celebration in the fall of 1621. Her growing eleven-year-old heart had it all figured out, as she leaned her head into her chin at our rickety, wooden school table.


My weary mind? Immediately jumped forward 400 years.

The year 2020.

The year God always knew was coming. The year His children would learn the meaning of gratitude, in so many new and unexpected ways. The year that would ring these celebratory words true from so many centuries ago, in a way no one, but the Lord Himself, could have anticipated.


...a year of going without, forfeiting and sacrificing; activities, get-togethers, tangible goods and precious time with family and friends;


...a year threatening to absolutely suffocate the world with its blanket of heaviness and continued uncertainty;


...a year of survival, for our delicate health and well-being;


... a year that doesn't seem like it holds much, if anything, to celebrate;


But, God?

He always pulls through. He always reminds us. And, He always comes full circle.


Just like His promises. From the manger. To the cross.


Because His promises? They span from the here-and-now to eternity.

Forever, and always.

Unwavering. Unfailing.


"I am your strength." "I will never leave you." "I will fight for you." "I will give you peace." "I have plans for you to prosper." "I always love you." "I hear your prayers."


"...they might not have everything they want, but by the goodness of God, they have everything they need..."


I imagine, no one at the three-day celebration of harvest and thanks, just over 400 years ago, would have ever imagined the future impact of those words.


The year 2020...

...the year we might not get everything we want; but, by the bountiful goodness of God, the year we have everything we need...


Maybe our tables aren't quite as full. Yet, He will still be right there eating and celebrating with us. "I will never leave you."


Maybe our hearts are feeling a little more weary. Yet, we can hold tightly to His forever-promise amidst our weakness. "I am your strength."


Maybe the enemy has incessantly crept in, even closer than usual this week. Yet, against the armor of God's word, we know he doesn't stand a chance. "I will fight for you."


Maybe our unsettled minds have stirred up a flood of unwanted anxiety. Yet, with the practice of re-centering our hearts on Him, we know He can settle our unruly thoughts. "I will be your peace."


Maybe our plans are not at all what we expected at this time last year. Yet, as long as we remember to let Him take the lead, His hope will light the way. "I have plans for you to prosper."


Maybe we will be separated from our loved ones by far too many miles, states and countries. Yet, we can still cling steadfast to His truth that our love can stretch, bend and grow the distance needed to reach. "I will always love you."


Maybe we will feel alone than we ever have before around the holidays. Yet, we can take heart in knowing, even when our lips cannot find the words to pray, He still hears us. "I hear your prayers."


"...although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want..." (1621)


"...they might not have everything they want, but by the goodness of God, they have everything they need..." (2020)


Maybe we won't have everything we want this holiday season.


Yet, He promises to give us everything we need. To keep us. To love us. To prosper us. To give us strength. To never leave us.

And for that, we have so incredibly much for which to be thankful.

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