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Majesty Revealed

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  Acts 7:55

“Lord, there are so many times you quietly reveal yourself to me.  At times I miss the chance to see and glorify you while other times I realize the moment is very special.  Thank you for finding ways to communicate with me and showing me your full glory. Amen”

Each time I go play golf – which I’m fairly new at and definitely very terrible at – I say a prayer thanking God for the opportunity to enjoy this thing called “Creation.”  I ask for Him to help me remember that I “get to play golf” rather than it being some awful task that I’m being drug into.  Because if you’ve ever tried learning something new you know there’s a steep learning curve which can bring you to the point of wondering why you ever embarked on the journey!

The other day not only did God bless me with meeting three new golf friends but He revealed Himself to us on the second hole of the course.  And it gave me the opportunity to proclaim His glory to strangers.

At the green of the first hole, I noticed two large hawks hopping along the ground near the tee for the second hole.  I pointed it out to my new friends and we interrupted our putting to stop and notice the unusual sight.  And when we had finished there, we drove over to the next tee.  When we all arrived, I looked over to a post located maybe 4 yards away and there sitting majestically was one of the large hawks.  It was at least 2 ½ feet tall.  Just sitting and watching us.  I have never been that close to a wild hawk before because they are a bit skittish.  I gasped and pointed to the hawk and we all stood there and stared. He/She was stunning and slightly scary looking with its large beak and talons. And I realized God was reminding me of my prayer.  To not take playing golf too seriously that I don’t notice the beauty of His creation.  I found myself, amongst these strangers crying out loud, “Glory to God!”  And then he flew off.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7

I certainly hope I never am in a situation like the disciple Stephen – being stoned to death.  In his terrible demise, God helped him take his eyes off the pain and suffering and lifted them to the glorious scene of God and Jesus.  Friend, it doesn’t matter if you are just going through the motions of life or you’ve found yourself in a stressful, painful situation, God will reveal Himself to you.  Seek Him and you will find Him.

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Rest

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

After a busy Thanksgiving, taking relatives to the airport, and doing some holiday shopping, my husband, older daughter and I took a day off from all the busyness and played golf.  I suppose you could call what I played “golf” even though it didn’t go so well!  But it was nice to get out with them and enjoy a relaxing, beautiful day.  

For a long time, I struggled with resting.  With just doing something fun that had no goal.  Before kids, my husband and I would spend Saturday running around doing errands.  Come Sunday I would start stressing out about Monday’s workload!  When my kids were younger, we always had sports on the weekends with tournaments lasting from Thursday until Sunday afternoon.  These last couple of years I’ve finally taken to heart the idea of resting.  Resting and enjoying all the blessings that God has gifted us.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

Toiling and striving and anxiously lying awake thinking about how we can toil some more the next day!  It’s not good for our health and it’s not the life God intended for us.  It’s so sad that two major companies in the United States who made the choice to stay closed on Sundays have received so much grief for that decision.  But the leaders of those companies are Christians who take the message and gift of the Sabbath to heart.

I still catch myself feeling guilty for resting.  I have to remind myself that it’s not a luxury.  It’s a requirement by God.  Whether we are rich or poor, with children or not, retired or still working, God wants us to be rested, ready to do His good works when needed.  

I’m so thankful for this gift of rest.  It shows how much God loves us and wants the best for us.  He wants us to be recharged and energized followers of Jesus.  Not burned out, overworked, stressed and therefore unable to see how beautiful this world is He created.  Unable to stop and help someone in need.  So today on this Sabbath day take this gift of rest freely.  Take time for yourself and enjoy.