“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8a
A man was hired by a government subcontractor to paint the white lines down the center of the highway. His foreman ordered him to paint the lines by hand and the man went to work.
After three days, the foreman said, “I’m afraid that I’m going to have to let you go.”
“Why?” the man asked.
“Your performance has dropped. On your first day, you did great. You painted the line for three miles. Your second day wasn’t bad either. You painted two miles. But today you only painted one mile. So, I’m going to have to fire you. I’m sorry.”
On his way out of the office, the fired employee looked back and said, “It’s not my fault. Every day I got further away from the paint can.”
Like the fired employee, our country is moving further and further away from God every day. Contrary to what the revisionist historians say, our Founding Fathers founded this nation on the Christian religion. The Pilgrims left a land where they were persecuted to find a land where they could worship freely. When they landed at Plymouth Rock, they knelt on the shore, and they thanked God for His blessings.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, let me remind you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621 to give thanks to God for their freedoms in the New World. Later, in 1789, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation to commemorate the first Pilgrim celebration.
In 1826, Sarah Hale, the author of the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb” began a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote letters and pleaded her case with political leaders. Finally, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln listened to her plea that a nation divided by the Civil War should put aside their differences and observe a day of Thanksgiving to God for His blessings. President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday of November to be the official “National Thanksgiving Day.”
However, the American people have moved further and further away from God, the source of all our blessings. If this nation continues to forget her spiritual roots, what will become of her? Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them fell when they reached the moral condition that the United States is in now. This country is still the greatest nation on the planet, but we are going down a road that is taking us away from the Christian values that made America.
But we can turn back.
America can return to God one person at a time, starting with you. Are you struggling under heavy burdens that seem unbearable? Do you fell like there is a great distance between you and the Lord? If so, this Thanksgiving bow your head and thank God for all He has done for you. Thank Him for the good things in your life and for life itself.
The point is: If you are not experiencing God’s presence in your life, if you find yourself moving further and further away from God, ask yourself this question, “Who moved?”
God is where He has always been. He is waiting for you. Turn around and draw near to Him. Then you will experience the blessing of Thanksgiving.
James Collins will be signing copies of his latest book, “The Nativity,” today from 7 am to 2 pm at the First Southern Baptist Church Family Bazaar and Bake Sale. For more information, call (620) 223-2986.