what it means to relax…

So, as Jules and I have journeyed through this thing called pregnancy we have come to the time where Julie is having to sit back and “try” to relax. Now, this has been easier said than done, because she is an incredibly driven and active person. She loves to do projects around the house and clean and work in the yard. So for her to stay off her feet has been somewhat of a challenge. I, on the other hand, have no problem relaxing… in fact, I’m quite good at it. I’d go so far as to say, I am a genius at relaxing because no one needs to force me to lay down and take it easy. Some people may call that laziness… I call it having an unusual talent for resting…

Whether you find it easy to kick back or not, even the best relaxers can become overwhelmed by anxiety, stress, and worry. I can be awakened from an otherwise sound sleep with my mind racing with the thoughts of the approaching day. It’s easy to be jolted back to reality from an all-out veg fest with the worry of tasks undone, or relationships that have faltered, or the uncertainty of major life events or decisions. So, how do we cope?

I remember as a kid going through major periods of anxiety. I mean, seriously worried about going to school or doing homework… and I would get a little panicky. Then one day a simple question entered my mind… “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” I started to think about the reasonable consequences of a given situation and asked, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Now, that tactic works well for a child. I mean a child probably won’t be thrown out on the street if he doesn’t do well on a test. A child probably won’t have his electricity shut off if he forgets to do an assignment… Sometimes the ramifications of adult decisions or mistakes are pretty serious.

But, yesterday our pastor referenced a Scripture that has really stuck with me and reminded me that the eternal consequences of life don’t have to depend on my past mistakes or actions… they are entirely up to God.

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

You know, our worlds may fall apart. But the Lord is a God of compassion and his love does endure and his peace can reign in the face of anything… if we but lean into him.

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