“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him
and praise His name.”
When I think of times I have been the most thankful, it is often when I have been doing without something, and then the situation has changed to “doing with”. Being withoutseems to make beingwithmore meaningful.
[For me, one example that springs to mind is that not a day goes by that I do not sincerely thank God for flush toilets. Really! Having grown up with that wonderful invention in every place I’d ever lived, I never realized its value and blessing until I began spending time in desert places that have none. (Without going into detail, they’re called “squatty-potty’s” …..I’m sure you can get the idea. The acrobatics involved only add to the adventure, and my gratitude!) The point is that gratitude springs up most when we experience something good that we’ve not experienced before.]
The first time I visited the ruins of the Temple in Israel where Jesus had literally walked, I was struck by the different courtyards designated for different groups of people. The “court” nearest to where God’s Presence resided allowed for spiritual leaders, then further back more common folk (men), then women and Gentiles (non-Jews). If I had lived in that time, I would have been waaayyy in the back. The literal experience of being so far away from where the ancient spiritual Presence and worship took place struck me deeply.
Because of what Jesus did in giving His Life for us, all those old categories crumbled away, and He made it possible to “come near” to Him. We can walk through that gate…and keep moving through all those designated “courts”…right into His Presence. Men, women, children, no matter your ethnicity, “status” in life, or any of the other categories with which people are labeled.
He simply opens up His Arms and says, “Come!”