Faith

Why America Is Worth Thanking Almighty God for, This Year and Always

On Thanksgiving and every holiday, let's be grateful for our nation — and be sure we set aside petty squabbles

It is unsettling that patriotism is so lacking these days, especially among millennials and those even younger than that.

On staff at a university, teaching adjunctively at several schools and speaking to many thousands of teens each year, I have the opportunity to “pick the brains” of these young people about a lot of topics.

And I can say firsthand that youth are not encouraged to appreciate this nation as previous generations were.

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Young adults are constantly told how bad America is — and if not reversed, this continual conditioning to not love America will seriously undermine our national security.

Is America still worth loving, still worth saving, and still worth thanking Almighty God for right now? Yes.

Do you agree that protesting is acceptable, but rioting is not?

People outside of America would say, “Unequivocally, yes.”

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How do I know?

Whenever I or my wife travel to developing nations, people routinely offer money to take their children to live in America.

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Consider such friends as I have made in Zambia; they live just outside the capital city of Lusaka.

They walk miles each day to get water because the public well in their village is inoperable. What would it take to fix the pump and provide ample water for the people? A bolt. A simple half-inch bolt about 8 inches long that could be found in any American hardware store.

But, on average, how long do Zambian villagers wait for this basic hardware item that would repair their water source? A year, and even then, it took multiple attempts to procure the bolt due to the fact that several men hired to get the job done stole the villagers’ money.

I honestly don’t know how some people can face themselves in the mirror each day. How can politically leftist Hollywood actors, making a living by pretending in front of a camera (many of whom may be chronological adults but who are intellectual and emotional infants), denigrate the USA, which has given them their opulent lifestyles?

This Thanksgiving, though the issues of the day are very real, let us set them aside for a moment.

Regardless of what notch on the political spectrum people occupy, we must remember that family, friends, neighbors and co-workers we barely know are all so much more important than petty squabbles around the dinner table or the water cooler, or on social media.

This Thanksgiving, though the issues of the day are very real, let us set them aside for a moment.

May the good Lord move upon us as He did those first pilgrims.

Pilgrim Edward Winslow gave insight into the meaning of that first Thanksgiving: “Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together … Many of the Indians came amongst us, and their greatest King, Massosoit, with some 90 men, who for 3 days we entertained and feasted … And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are far from want.”

This spirit of rejoicing was shared in 1621 by a group of pious folk who had suffered the loss of half their community to sickness and the elements in less than a year.

But it can still be said today: “By the goodness of God, we are far from want.”

Rather than grousing about America or even talking politics at the dinner table this year, be very intentional about cultivating a grateful heart and keeping the right priorities in order.

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Let’s thank God for the gift of each day. And for simple (but vital) things — like family, friendships and fresh water.

Forget what’s happening in politics. Be grateful for whatever’s on your plate. And remember to love the people around you.

Yep, it is time to speak up about the state of the nation. Make sure to “take a knee” this week for all that the U.S. is — and by this, I mean a knee bowed for prayer.

Take time to quiet yourself and open your heart before God. For just a moment at least, let your heart be still, be reflective and be grateful.

We all really are so blessed. You don’t have to travel far outside of our borders to realize this.

Dr. Alex McFarland is a religion and culture expert, director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University, national talk show host, speaker and author of 18 books, including his newest, “Abandoned Faith: Why Millennials Are Walking Away and How You Can Lead Them Home.” This article originally appeared last year in LifeZette and has been updated. 

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