“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100 NIV
Psalm 100 is a Psalm that we begin to hear quite often this time of year with the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner. But, have you stopped and absorbed every word of this Psalm? Have you really thought about what it really means to give thanks and praise?
For the last day or so, I have been reflecting on this Psalm. It has made me think of what true thanksgiving means. True thanksgiving is serving a meal at homeless shelter along with extending a hand of fellowship and smile to those who were down on their luck then seeing gratitude in their eyes that someone cared to make sure that their basic needs are care of for the night. It is talking with a lady inmate who has become a Christian and allowing to her to share her story, her prayer concerns and praying with her then seeing joy in her eyes that someone cares for her beyond her walls. True thanksgiving is letting that mom who has worked 12 hours that day, has kids pulling on her and a cart spilling over with groceries to go ahead of you no matter your schedule then seeing her eyes fill with relief and gratitude. Read to a child who does not have someone to read to him/her at home and see their smile as you read to them. Teach someone who does not know how to read or write and see them beam as they accomplish reading that first sentence or writing down that first word. The list could go on and on with such meanings of true thanksgiving.
For me, I have done the things in the list above and not only did the person I shared the experience with had gratitude in their eyes but I also experienced the true heart of gratitude and God’s blessings. At the end of the day, I was ‘shouting to the Lord with joy’ because God had revealed to me what true thanksgivings really meant in the whole big picture of life.
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, be mindful of the true thanksgivings you may have experienced in the past, or aware of ones you could experience now. When you do this, I will guarantee that your feet will not hit the ground for several days. You will experience such joy that you will “Shout to the Lord’! You will be saying ‘thank-you’ in a whole new way.
May you experience the true thanksgivings this Thanksgiving season.