Thursday, May 10, 2018

It Is A Good Place To Be!

When some one says, "Get some rest" or "Did you rest well?" I always think of one of my favorite quotes from Pastor Charles Spencer. He says, "There is no rest of the wicked and the righteous don't need any.I love that line and use it often.

Although I think his line is hilarious, there are times when I feel like I absolutely need some rest. I need rest in my body, rest in my mind and rest in my spirit. Every one needs times of rest and refreshing.

A guy we were doing business with a couple of weeks ago asked us what we do for a living. We gave the short answer and he was curious. One question led to another and finally he said, "Do you ever get tired of all the traveling?"

The answer? Sure we get tired. Everyone gets tired.

I remember working public jobs when I had one week a year of vacation and then later two weeks a year of vacation. I worked all year for that week off and nearly slid into depression the last few days of my time off. 

I remember thinking at the end of vacation, I have a whole year to work before vacation rolls around again!

Wow! What a potential for despair, fifty weeks of work, five or six days each week, until I get a week off. That made me tired again, thinking of all those weeks in a row.

Do you know what kept my "end of vacation" despair in check? 
-I liked to eat. 
-I liked hamburgers.
-I liked pizza.
-I liked to live in a house with air conditioning and heat. 
-I liked electricity.
-I liked running water.
-I liked a good bed to sleep in.
-I liked furniture to sit on.
-I liked to drive a car that would run without working on it every day.
-I liked for Kelly Jo to be able to buy groceries and clothes.
-I liked for Odie to be able to have a candy bar as a treat and then be able to go to the dentist for cavities.
-I liked to buy gifts.
-I liked to give tithe and offerings at church.
-I liked to support missions.

All of these things and many more kept me getting up and going to work day after day and week after week. I enjoyed the lifestyle that working a job provided and I was thankful to God for a good job.

If it takes working fifty weeks "on" and one or two weeks "off" to support that, then so be it. Show me where to work and tell me what to do!

There had been times before that jobs were not easy to find and I never forgot that. 

There were many mornings when Kelly Jo and I knelt by the couch at 4:00 AM asking God to give me strength and knowledge in the difficult day ahead. I always thanked God with sincere tears that I had that difficult job to go to.

Do you know what we did on those once or twice a year vacations? Some years we went to the Smoky Mountains with my extended family. Those were good times. Some years we stayed home and worked at other things. Those were good times too.

Most years we spent our time off traveling some where preaching revival or attending a camp meeting. We would often finish up preaching on Sunday night and drive all night in order to go back to work at the conclusion of vacation on Monday morning.

I guess it is accurate to say that the years I spent in secular work, I used my vacation to do exactly what I am doing every week now. No wonder people think that evangelists are on vacation all the time!
I want to tell you, being on vacation all the time can wear you out! Most of you understand that I have my tongue firmly planted in my cheek when I say we are on vacation all the time. This is honestly some of the hardest work I have ever done.

I tell the girls often, "There must be easier ways for a lazy man to make a living than doing what we do!
However, I am thoroughly, super duper, hook, line and sinker, doubledecker with cheese, maxed to the limit, over the top thankful that we are blessed to tell people all over the USA about Christ and do it as our full time pursuit.

We are happy, happy, happy to be traveling the roads, preaching revivals, winning souls, encouraging saints, and strengthening Pastors. We are humbled and amazed at the doors God has opened to us and continues to open to us by His grace.

We are aware that God has been extremely good to us and we are positively thankful.

As in every life, in every family, in pursuing every occupation there are times when life feels like it gets too busy. When you find yourself there, you put your shoulder to the wheel and do what has to be done. We have those times and we will feel that pressure in a few short weeks I am sure.

As a society, we focus on those busy times. Those are the moments we obsess over. The hectic pace and our stressed face become our identity and our comfort zone. We are known by our busyness.

IF we are not careful, we morph into finding our self worth in others knowing we are engaged and hustling to handle all the "stuff" going on.

There must be a space to slow down the pace.

Vacation? I love vacation, but a vacation once a year, a vacation every two years or even two or three vacations each year will not get the job done. 

We take the stress with us to the mountains, the lake or the beach. We are so incredibly "connected" that vacation can quickly and easily distort into working remotely from a beautiful location.

There must be periods of restfulness in the middle of our labor. You mean like a nap in the middle of the day? Well, kind of like that.

Last week in Bristol, Virginia and this week in Bristow, Virginia are perfect examples. We are in revival. We are "on duty." We are working. We are preparing every day. We are singing every night. We are preaching every night. We are carrying the burden for revival.

But in the midst of all the work, God is refreshing us with the closeness of His presence. It took me a couple of days last week to realize it, but God is giving us Rest and Revival at the same time! I love that!

Friends, that is better than vacation and I love vacation! We have been wound up tight, running wide open and we love to have it so. This time of R and R, Rest and Revival has come at a perfect time!

I am sure that all of this is helped by the fact that we are having no major bus problems, car problems, barn problems, construction problems or health problems. I understand that and I also understand that all of that could change in a moment.

I am going to enjoy it while I can. I am going to rest in the hand of God while I can. I am going to fully trust Him and His plan while my mind will relax and allow me to do so. It is a good place to be.

Tomorrow I may feel different, but God will be no different. He will still be in control and you and I can rest in that.

Thank you for reading today.


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