Thanksgiving might be the holiday most closely aligned with worship that we have on the calendar. After all, gratitude is the key that unlocks the gate of worship. With it, we can proceed into the court of praise. Read Psalm 100.
So, to help with this opportunity, let me share four “Ps” that might help you enter into worship this Thanksgiving.
People. This week is a great time to be thankful for the people in your life. Parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, spouses, children – and new for me this year – grandchildren! Do a quick inventory of the people God has blessed you with in your life, past and present. As you have an opportunity, reach out to them this week and express your gratitude to God for their investment in your life!
Provision. The hymnwriter helps us here. “All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.” (“Great is Thy Faithfulness” — Baptist Hymnal #96). When you remember how God has provided for you in life – and His provision for our future in Christ – it gets pretty easy to have gratitude. This year also remember those who are struggling to identify God’s provision because of hurricanes and fires, or maybe even personal tragedy. Don’t miss the opportunity to be an instrument of provision to someone you know this Thanksgiving. The blessing will be yours!
Protection. Recently I was in an automobile accident. It was one of those “could have been a whole lot worse” kind of accidents. Except for stitches in my head, I was un-harmed. A few seconds either way, I might be writing a very different blog today.
It reminded me that God protects us every day, in ways we can see and in many ways we can’t see. Check out this chorus of a song my friend Luke Garrett helped me write years ago –
The unseen hand of God, the mystery of mercy,
That God Himself would hold me to His heart.
In the moments of my fear, in the times of sudden danger, he is near, and I am safe
In the unseen hands of God.
Promise. For all that God has done for us, this may be the best one of all! He not only promises His presence in our present, He has promised us a future in His presence! I’m grateful today for all that we have to look forward to – not because the world is going to be better, but because heaven is our eternal home!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.