Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
They call it a z-pack. It is called that because nobody can pronounce azithromycin. Whatever it is called it–it works. You know the story. You are humming along, life is good and then you throat feels a little scratchy, your nose is a little stuffy and before long you feel awful.
Now let me explain awful. If you are a man that means it is pretty much terminal. It is a matter of minutes before the end comes. Someone call 911. If you are a woman it means that life just became a little more challenging but hey people are counting on you, so you will push through.
Man or woman–terminal or not–you will probably call and make an appointment to see the doctor. He will determine, much to the man’s surprise, that it is not terminal. It is an upper respiratory infection. Then he may prescribe our friend azithromycin or a z-pack.
A z-pack is a course of five pills, often two taken the first day and one per day for the next three. If you are a man, you take the first two and go to bed. If you are woman, and in in particular a mother, you take the first two and go on with life. The good news everybody generally survives.
I find too often in life this happens to me on another level. I am humming along and life is good. The mild speed bumps and occasional pot holes of life are navigated with little or no trouble. But then it happens. The smallest of infractions and I find myself going off–losing it. Something doesn’t go just according to plan and I am seething. I don’t get my way and so everyone better stay out of my way. I’ve been infected.
No doctor is needed for this one. It is called inselfishitis. Let me say that again…in-selfish–itis. Yup…for some reason it all becomes about me–or you. While it’s caused by several things it often find’s it source in a little virus called “why me.” I mean I understand why the neighbor deserves bad things he doesn’t even go to church. And my brother-in-law hasn’t worked for months. Of course, then there is cousin Eddie, never mind, we won’t even go there.
Well, the good news is there’s a z-pack for it and it is fast and effective. Take three “pills” and before long you will be humming again. The z-pack is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and consists of three powerful truths that will kick the “inselfishitis” bug in no time. Here’s the z-pack. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances.” There you go–be joyful, pray always and be thankful.” Bye-bye blues and hello cancel the 911 call. Three simple truths, three simple practices.
A while back I got ahold of a great definition for Biblical joy. It is “a deep sense of inner well-being based on faith in God and trust in His sovereign will.” Now that’s powerful. Boom. It is what we close everyday with, “rest in Him…He’s got this.” It’s true and He does.
Praying always is simply like breathing. It becomes second nature and an essential part of life. You don’t even need your knees to pray. You don’t need to close your eyes–especially if you are driving. It is a whisper to God as needed, when needed. And it works.
The last one is gratitude. It is learning to be thankful for the smallest detail in your life. News flash–God is a God of the details. That little deal you are concerned about is not little to Him. He loves His kids and wants them to know He will be there. Now that doesn’t mean you get every toy in the toy store. It does mean that He will be there whenever, forever.
The last part of verse 18 is huge. It says, “For this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” He wants you to do this not for three days but every day. He wants you to be fulfilled and at rest and these simple truths will put you on the right road. So, men, put on your big boy socks and push on. Ladies–remember we men struggle with the small things so be sure and show a little mercy when we are terminal–or at least think we are. God does and He does it not only for the men but for all of us. He invites us to crawl up in His lap and rest in Him. And listen close, He’s whispering, “I’ve got this.”