Within the next five days, we will all reconnect with a lot of people in our lives. Janet and I will drive today from Nashville to my hometown of Tyler, Texas. We will celebrate Thanksgiving with my parents, siblings, and kids. Before we jump into the Dance family fray, we will eat some amazing Tex-Mex food tonight with a few of my childhood friends that I grew up in church with, as well as college and seminary.

This morning I read an encouraging verse from the last chapter of Acts. The context of Acts 28 is Paul on the end of a very long and dangerous journey on his way to court in Rome. This famous journey involved some really bad boat rides, followed by even worse ones including an all-out shipwreck.

Tucked into the end of this chapter is a group of Roman believers who went out of their way to greet and encourage Paul outside of Rome.

Now the brothers and sisters from there had heard the news about us and had come to meet us as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.  — Acts 28:15 (CSB)

Everyone you and I will see on this Thanksgiving weekend will need some encouragement. Some will need more than others.

Perhaps you identify mostly with Paul because you are currently on a very long, dangerous journey. You need to connect with people who love you and draw from their courage. I’m not suggesting that you bleed out emotionally all weekend, just don’t guard your heart so closely that you rob yourself or others of an opportunity to encourage you.

Life is not always easy. Every year will not always be awesome. God knows who you need to be with this Thanksgiving.

So be thankful.

Be encouraged.

Be a blessing to love those you have loved the longest, and I assure you that blessing will become a boomerang.

Happy Thanksgiving.