“No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
— President Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863
President Lincoln has always been a man I admire. Over the years, I’ve learned much about him — much of his personal life was punctuated by failure, loss, and tremendous sadness.
The above quote is so eloquent and insightful and filled with a spirit of gratefulness. What is stunning is that Lincoln penned these comments in the throes of the Civil War.
The nation was divided and a bloody war raged for two years — and would drag on for another two years as a staggering 620,000 lives were lost. Yet, in the midst of this darkest period in U.S. history and certainly of Lincoln’s life, he wrote a proclamation declaring thanks.
No matter how the last year has gone for you and yours, we can all learn a lesson from our 16th President. Give Thanks.