Scripture: ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8 ESV).
I love jigsaw puzzles. My daughter and I have just completed one of one thousand pieces. Both of us gazed in awe at the perfection and beauty of the finished picture. As each tiny piece fit into place, we studied the artist’s painting on the box. With time and patience, the jumbled mess on our card table became a lovely masterpiece.
God likes jigsaw puzzles too, I’m sure. A seldom-told story of the first American Thanksgiving demonstrates His joy and patience in accomplishing His purpose, as He fits the mysterious pieces of our lives together.
We all know the story of the courageous Pilgrims, persecuted for their faith, who arrived in Plymouth, after a long voyage over wild, stormy seas. An unfamiliar world faced them, and they had no idea how to survive. They must have fallen to their knees in desperation, crying, “God, please help!”
God was already creating puzzle pieces to answer that prayer! Some twenty years before, another English ship arrived in Massachusetts, led by ungodly men interested only in the wealth the New World offered. After trading the Indians beads for valuable furs, they captured twenty-seven natives and took them to Spain, to be sold as slaves. One young Indian named Squanto was sold to a kind Spanish monk, who taught him of Jesus. Later, Squanto worked as stable hand in Britain, where he learned English. His new owner recognized the youth’s longing for home and promised to return him when a ship could be found.
In 1619, Squanto finally returned, only to find his entire village had been wiped out by disease. Alone and depressed, he must have wondered, “Why, God? What is Your plan?” A neighboring tribe took the lonely young man in. The next winter, a group of 120 sick, starving English arrived on their shores. The Pilgrims’ destination had been Virginia, but a mighty storm drove their damaged ship off course. Could this be a piece of God’s puzzle?
How amazed the Pilgrims must have been when an Indian emerged from the surrounding forest and began speaking to them in English! Squanto taught them to build shelters and hunt wildlife. Because of him, they endured the first terrible winter. The next summer, they learned to sow and fertilize native crops when their European seeds failed. Squanto remained their friend and mentor until his death.
Because of Squanto–because of God’s amazing plan–the first English settlement in America survived and were blessed. This humble Indian youth paved the way for the nation we enjoy today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive my anxiety about tomorrow. You know what I need and have already been preparing the answers. May I always trust in You.