Have you ever seen such a relaxed pose? Don’t you wish that for a brief moment you could actually achieve this level of chill? Not a care in the world, not a thought in your mind, no worries, burdens or pressures of bills, flat tires, back-talking kids, cheating spouses, and lay-off notices. It’s a dog’s life!

But for the rest of us….

Relaxation is hard to attain. Everyday life is so full of everyday stress, and then life-altering situations such as job loss, death of a family member, childbirth, hurricanes, etc. come along and can send you right over the edge.

I evacuated twice from two different states during the most recent hurricane. It was heading straight for Florida while I was there. Flights were suddenly canceled and the airport was about to close so we fled to catch the last flight out to North Carolina. Then the hurricane turned and we braced again for it to hit us on the Outer Banks, so I evacuated a second time to Virginia. One storm, two evacuations, three states.

I came home to find it raining in my closet. It’s not supposed to rain in your closet. My shoulders were so tense, they did not come down from my ears for a month and my neck still aches from the tension. And compared to our brothers and sisters in Ocracoke, we got off easy.

What do you do to relax? Golf? Read? Walk somewhere beautiful? Play games? Binge Netflix? Talk with friends? These are all wonderful ways to find a measure of relaxation in the crazy reality you live in.

But do you ever wonder, what would it take to find relaxation that actually lasts?

Matthew 6 (The Message)

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to RELAX, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Steep your life in God-reality.

Steep your life in God-initiative.

Steep your life in God-provisions.

Every tea drinker knows that to steep something means you immerse it in hot water and leave it there until it is bled out. Matthew is reminding us to immerse ourselves in the heat of God’s love until God-reality replaces crazy reality. Like a long, steamy bubble bath where you emerge jello-legged and empty-headed, we are invited to steep in everything God is providing, and stay immersed until the tension leaves our shoulders and we lay belly up on the beach in the warm sun.

Do something for yourself today: enter into God’s presence and RELAX there. God adores you and has great pride in you. He desires to meet your everyday human concerns. Let him take care of you, and just BREATHE.

See the dog? Be the dog.

Photo by Margaret Brushwood

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