The Pilgrims and their progress are not mentioned in the Bible, but their story is a wonderful example of giving thanks to God in the midst of gut-wrenching circumstances. The Pilgrims faced hunger, sickness, freezing weather, and even death. But through it all, they remembered the most important thing: God is in control. And they resolved to thank Him throughout.
Reading through first-hand accounts that come from the Pilgrims’ own diaries, our kids can imagine what it was like for these brave men, women, and children to feel the harsh wind against their cheeks and icy water seeping through their boots. We can also imagine what it was like to fall ill with no hospital to go to, and worse yet, to lose almost half of the friends and family they traveled with. Through the example of the Pilgrims, kids can see that while we may not be thankful for a difficult situation, we can be thankful in that situation.
It is also encouraging to see the many ways God was working, often years in advance, to answer the prayers He knew would come from a desperate people in a new land. Did you know God prepared Squanto for the task of aiding the Pilgrims by allowing him to escape his own kidnappers in Spain years before? In all things, God weaves together a beautiful tapestry of events for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Few of our kids have to forage for food in a frozen wilderness, but plenty of them face modern day trials: loneliness, sickness, divorce, parents out of work, betrayal by friends, and the list goes on. This lesson outlines the things that we can always be thankful for. They are the promises of God and they will never change–no matter what century we live in, no matter what country, no matter what we have or don’t have.
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