Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” Job 38:22-23

So begins Chapter 1, Scene 2 in Crucible of War. The verse is quoted by Jeremiah Wainwright, the Quaker owner of the inn where Elizabeth, Tess, and Blue Sky wait out the anxious hours while Carleton and Andrews cross the Delaware River with Washington on Christmas night to make a daring attack on the Hessian garrison at Trenton.

A violent nor’easter batters the region that night, while the army battles ice floes and the river’s swift current amid driving snow, sleet, and gale-force winds. Contemporary accounts tell of the ill-clothed and equipped men leaving bloody tracks in the snow from feet bound with rags, strips of leather, or nothing at all. Amazingly, several soldiers froze to death while waiting for transport across the river. And yet they persisted.

After much travail, the soldiers reached the New Jersey shore only to face a nine-mile march to Trenton through a storm that seemed to get worse by the minute. By the time they approached the village, much of their powder was wet, rendering many of the men’s muskets useless. Receiving this report, Washington ordered a bayonet charge—in spite of the fact that the Continentals had few bayonets among them. Still they went forward . . . and won an unlikely victory that changed the course of the Revolution.

On this Thanksgiving Day, while delicious aromas fill the house, and all is light and warmth inside, while outside a grey, rainy evening gathers, I think of those who through the years have sacrificed so much to preserve the blessings of peace and freedom we enjoy, but too often take for granted. And I think, too, of those in foreign lands, such as Sayed Mossa, Asia Noreen, and Aung San Suu Kyi who suffer imprisonment, abuse, and the threat of death because they dare to believe in our Savior Jesus Christ. Yet they speak out boldly for Truth.

May we never forget the price that has been paid for our freedom—both physical and spiritual. May those sacrifices be abundantly blessed and rewarded in heaven, if not on earth. This day I am mindful that we have a God who metes out both justice and mercy and who never forgets the blood shed by the saints. May He be greatly praised!

I hope you a most blessed and joyful Thanksgiving!

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