We’ve finally reached the week of Thanksgiving – one of the biggest holidays we celebrate as a country here in the US. It’s a time meant for us to take an intentional pause from our busy lives and take inventory of the things around us that we’re thankful for. I think most of us have an “ideal” image of what we want the holiday to look like for us – delicious aromas as we surround ourselves with limitless options of sides dishes and pleasant conversations around the dinner table with our family and friends. Maybe throw in a football game or two to fall asleep to while we fight the post-Thanksgiving meal food coma. This is my ideal image of Thanksgiving in my house.
For others, the holiday season is incredibly difficult and lonely - even more so this year. As the pandemic continues to alter our routines, Thanksgiving is no exception. Some families won’t be gathering with key matriarchs/patriarchs in order to protect them from exposure to the virus. Some families are still reeling from the loss of a loved one that won’t be at the dinner table. Their “ideal” image of Thanksgiving is just to not be alone or isolated anymore – or to see their loved one’s face at the dinner table one last time.
King David spent several seasons of his life rejoicing with gladness, but we know he also spent many seasons in great suffering and turmoil. He documents this well in the book of Psalms, detailing the highs and lows of his faith journey. Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving week, we all have the chance to offer up thanks and praise for all that the Lord has done for us, and that even when we endure great suffering, we can still choose to praise him each and every day. So how do we do that? Let’s look at Psalm 100:
"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; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 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."
Here, David lists a myriad of ways to give thanks and praise to the Lord. Let’s choose one of these ways to thank the Lord today. Maybe you’ll shout for joy, or maybe you’ll worship Him with gladness. Maybe you’ll simply take time to remember that He is good and that His love endures forever. Let this Psalm be our prayer this week!