The Happiest Place On Earth

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

Psalm 100:4

I am not a big theme park person but I do enjoy people watching and I have to admit one of my favorite places to watch people is at entrance to Disneyland. Like most, I enjoy watching people when they are at their best, overflowing with happy. There is a certain look, a smile, a joy that almost everyone gets (both young and old alike) standing at the gates of Disneyland that you rarely see other places. You would think from seeing the ear to ear smiles people really were at the happiest place on earth.

Try to imagine if you will what it will be like one day when you pass through the gates of Heaven for the very first time. I mean if Disneyland can elicit such joy I don’t think we can begin to comprehend the excitement we will feel one day as we enter into the presence of the Lord. Its no wonder then that the psalmist exhorts us to, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise” because we are about to experience something so magical, so beautiful and delightful, so far removed from everyday life. The very presence of God.

I read a quote this morning that said, “When you have gratitude you see all the good things in your life.” It's true, a grateful heart is an open heart, a satisfied heart that is capable of seeing what many so easily miss. Gratitude and blessing go hand in hand. It’s no wonder then that when people sit down to eat and bow their heads in prayer to give thanks to God and the host or hostess says, “would someone like to bless the food” that the person or persons who are the most grateful among us can’t wait to give thanks for the food and to express their gratitude to God by blessing His name.

I like to think the majority of people heading into Disneyland for the very fist time are not just happy to be there but they are thankful too. At least thats how it was for me growing up. It was a big thing to get to go to Disneyland as our family was not wealthy and going to Disneyland wasn’t inexpensive even back in the day when I was a kid. I remember standing there at the entrance looking into the park and being so excited I could hardly contain my joy.

When the gates finally opened I remember the crowd breaking out in cheer and feeling the sensation of wanting to run into the park as fast as I could with so much excitement pent up inside me I thought I might burst. I had never been to Disneyland before but I had heard all about it and I couldn’t wait to get in. What was true of Disneyland back then is what the Lord desires would fill our hearts and mind now as we consider the happiest place not just on earth but in the entire universe.

There really is no place like the presence of God and the good news today is you don’t need a car to get there, you don’t even have to leave your home to experience the happiest place on earth. All you need to do is come in, come into the presence of God. To get there enter His gates this morning with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful today and bless His name knowing when you do you too will understand what the psalmist knew…

“For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”

Psalm 100:5


Michael Osthimer





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