What We Can Learn from the Pilgrims

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Is. 41:10

Yes, this is a Thanksgiving-related post, two days after Thanksgiving. I'd plan to write this on Friday, but a 103 degree fever and a severe sinus infection kept me from it. But now that my fever is down, I want to share with you some of the things my husband and I were discussing this holiday. The Pilgrims came to the New World certain that was where God wanted them. But did they still feel they were in God's will when they all started starving to death? Or when sickness wiped out so many families? The answer is yes, they did. 

What about Squanto, who did so much to save the Pilgrims who did survive that first winter? His life was one tragedy after another, yet one of the Pilgrim leaders, William Bradford, compared him to Joseph in the Old Testament. All of us were taught Squanto spoke some English, but what most people don't know is he was kidnapped and sold as a Spanish slave. Monks bought him and taught him about God. Trying to get him back home, they sent him to England, where he'd be more likely to find a ship sailing to the New World. Ten years after he was stolen from his family, Squanto finally went back home...only to discover his family - his entire village - had been wiped out by illness. Then Squanto learned of the Pilgrims, and his heart went out to them. He taught them about the New World and how to survive in it. And he remained with the Pilgrims until the day he died. They were, after all, people who loved God as he did. But if you'd been Squanto would you have been discouraged? Would you have felt you must not be doing what God wanted of you? Or that God was punishing you somehow?

When difficulties come into your life, do you assume you're on the wrong path? Sure, we all know the apostles had a rough time of it after Jesus left the earth. But they were teaching the Gospel - clearly God's will. It's the smaller things in life that often bring us down and make us doubt. I know in my own life I often show discouragement when difficulties are present. I might start a diet, but if I haven't lost weight in a week or two, I give up. Or, as recently happened, I might loose the manuscript for a book I was sure God wanted me to write - and suddenly think I wasn't in God's will at all. But let's be like the Pilgrims and Squanto. let's pray for and know God's will, then proceed bravely and without discouragement - even when it seems everything we do is an uphill battle.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Pet. 5:6-7 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10


  1. I'm just now catching up on my blog reading. I needed to hear this, thank you.