Interpose—have you ever thought of that word?
Here it is used in context: "I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."
That, of course, is Abraham Lincoln.
Thanksgiving has a lot of starting points—a three day feast between the Pilgrims and the First Nation peoples being the most famous. But I believe this proclamation sealed the general time for an official Thanksgiving holiday— a time when Lincoln mentioned that although God was not restraining his wrath on the nation, neither was he restraining his mercy. Even in the midst of a bloody war, Lincoln saw the plenty of the people and the land, and thought it was especially right to give thanks for it all, even in the midst of trouble.
I’m not sure that Lincoln was a Christian, or even a theist. But I do think it a Christian way of life to give thanks in the middle of hardship. It is a way of resting on God, who is the real that cannot be seen. That rest allows us to see our troubles more clearly. It is that clear sight, which is possible only in the light of God, that allows for hope.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.