For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
The fate of the Pilgrims rested in the decision of one Indian whose name was Squanto. He was the only one considered for the job of teaching these foreigners as to how to survive. There would be challenges ahead of him, the greatest one, was the ability to put behind the memory of the Pawtuxet Tribe of which he was one and whose land the Pilgrims were building. No one knows for sure the thoughts of this man only that the suggestion was made to him, and that he had a choice. Squanto agreed to help the Pilgrims.
Another Indian who had come to know the Pilgrims, Samoset, made the introduction of Squanto to the Pilgrims in the Spring of 1621. By this time Squanto was older, but loved the newcomers as his own. Before long, he took to teaching the Pilgrims the technics of raising the Three Sisters. He showed the Pilgrims how to make mounds of dirt followed by placing a few fish, menhaden, as a fertilizer. Then the corn (Maze) was planted in various places in the mound. Later when the corn was about knee high, Squanto planted pole beans which would climb the cornstalks. Once the beans had started up the corn, the final of the three sisters, squash, was planted. From one location, three valuable crops were grown.
Many times we think that this was the only things Squanto taught, but there was so much more. He taught the Pilgrims how to harvest the waters nearby for the abundance of fish and shellfish. One such delicacy was eel. The abundance of eel would sustain the Pilgrims throughout the spring and summer. In the meantime, Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to dry and salt the fish and put in stores for the winter.
I think of the work of this man and I am amazed that God would preserve a people by the actions of one. Imagine returning home to find all that you loved and cared for was taken. Mind you, history is full of examples of such. The man Patrick, whom we think of when celebrating Saint Patrick Day, was a taken and enslaved by the Irish people. When he was a young man he escaped by to his home in England. He found that his home was gone, burned by the Irish. Later, he felt the call to return to Ireland with the gospel. Squanto returned to not only find his village and villagers all gone, he later also saw Englishmen, who had come to build an home over the site of his home. He accepted that this was God’s plan and willing served.
I remember the message to Esther, “For such a time as this…” If we truly believe God’s direction in our lives, then we believe His hand upon us. It was only when God laid it on the heart of the Pilgrims to come to these shores that we see the remarkable hand of Providence, which included Squanto.
Have you considered the hand of providence on you?
Think about it…
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