I have never been good at relaxing. On our honeymoon, I drove Janice nuts wanting her to play golf, tennis and to swim in the pool. She just wanted to sit by the pool and quietly read a book – get some sun and RELAX. I am also the type pf personality that cannot shut off the old noggin. I am always thinking about pastoral things and how I can give my best. In some ways, that is good and in other ways, it is not. I saw this verse of scripture differently this week. I saw it through new glasses. “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 ESV) In light of our present situation it gave me real contentment – it caused me to focus a bit more on simply RELAXING!
It helped me to remember just to rest in Him, no matter what situation in which I am found. In the mundane things of life – in situations like we are in now – God has us where He wants us and is working through us “for his good pleasure.” We have been conditioned by the sensationalism of evangelicalism to be involved in some super-duper thing for God to be present... God’s presence and His good pleasure is taking place very much in our everyday tasks. For Joseph, it was in the daily living as a shepherd, long before he was sold into slavery. It said to me, RELAX Ralph.
It also reminded me of what pleases God. “A Christian can do great things for God – by doing small things for others.” Through the multitude of kind acts you people are doing – through being servants in the home and business you are involved in - God is being worshipped. Take time for yourself to RELAX and enjoy the things you are surrounded with, and just enjoy His presence. He is pleased. For many that are confined by health, RELAX and know that God is with you. Remember, “the dewdrop does God’s will as much as the thunderstorm.” Your prayers echo love and devotion that minister in so many ways we cannot yet see. Practice the “Presence of God” by RELAXING. Know that He is pleased and walking with you every minute of the day.
I saw a cartoon this week that read “I wanted to relax a bit today...and then I remembered I am a mom." It was cute. No one is busier than a mom. We owe you a great debt. But even in the busyness and responsibilities you have, I pray you will have time to RELAX and to delight in His presence. Your high CALLING is certainly pleasing to God.
It is easy to say RELAX. But I want you to know that in these stressful times, it is something that we can try to do. Take a moment in your chair – take a deep breath and just think of a scripture that brings you peace. Think about how much God loves you. REST in him!
God bless you and, as this week comes to an end, take a moment, even a big moment, to RELAX and know God is with you every step of the way. Remember, "God has called us to play the game and not to keep score.” RELAX and know that He is pleased.
God bless and keep you - Pastor Ralph