And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
How is it that these Pilgrims, who had endured so much suffering and hardship, would still have it in their hearts to give thanks to the Lord. The more I study these folks the more I understand that they had a heart for God and not for themselves. They took measure of what they had endured and instead of reflecting internally, they looked outwardly and gave God the praise. The believers who remained amongst the number, understood the new found freedom came with hardship. Are we so convinced that we can escape hardship when all we ever face is good?
I think back to all who ever wanted to be close to God and the cost that came from it. Think about the wars America were part of, beginning with the Revolutionary War. Before the Revolution there was great preaching and dedication to the one True God. Men like Whitefield and Edwards preached the hard things of God and America was changed. When England assessed more the colonist would bear, American’s rebelled and many pledged their lives and fortunes in order to become a new nation. The Civil War was a war that bonded this country together. Both sides sought God’s favor and in the end, not only were their great revivals, they accepted that God meant for the outcome to be as it was. World War 1 and 2 proved this as well. Two World Wars and yet, the desire of America was one. Even after the Great Depression, the aim of the people was God first.
The Pilgrims accepted that God had brought them through a great sieve. Those that survived the crossing and the sickness were all part of God’s plan to found a new nation, conceived in liberty to worship Him freely. The giving of men like Squanto was evidence to them of God’s care and giving. In fact, just a year later this humble man would die a tragic death. His work was completed and God called him home.
Only fifty-one people, mostly children, lived on these shores. Those that were old enough and able, worked. Others were being taught and prepared for a godly life. In reality there were but twenty-six adults (22 men and 4 women) compared to twenty-five children. Many of the women either died in the crossing or during the winter. Most remarkably was the fact that when the Mayflower left with her remaining crew, none of the survivors went with them. They had found their new home and they believed God had brought them here. They settled this new place. A place they called Plimouth Rock.
Think about it…
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