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August 29, 2012

Spafari

We can’t just blame society for our stress, though a lot of people do. Some people blame their spouse for their stress. Some people blame their boss for their stress. Some bosses blame their employees for their stress. Many times, we blame our circumstances for our stress, and we think, “If I could just get rid of that circumstance, there would no longer be any stress in my life.” Folks, that’s a pipe dream. It’s not true. It’s impossible because stress is a part of life. If you don’t have any stress in your life right now, you are dead because stress is inevitable. In fact, it is God’s plan that you have a certain amount of stress in your life. Take a guitar for example. You have to put some stress on the strings to make music. If you stress the strings in just the right amount, you make beautiful music. On the other hand, if you tighten the strings too much, it snaps. It’s God’s plan that you and I have a certain amount of stress in our lives. You’ll never be able to get rid of all the stress. There will always be stress in your life.

The real question is – how do you handle stress? My wife is the real adventurer in our family. She’s always trying to talk me into going to far away, out of the way places. And because she can’t talk me into it very often, she has to settle for just reading about it in travel books. She likes to get the travel magazines. She had one out the other day and was looking through it, and she showed me a picture of something called a spafari. I said, “Chris, is that a misspell? Shouldn’t it be a safari?” She said, “No, this is a spafari.” She said, “This is in the jungles of Africa. In the heart of the jungle, there is a five star spa. It’s a spafari.” So, the point is, with the dangers of the jungle all around you, you can get your facial and your body wrap and your massage and all your spa treatments right there.

I thought about that, and I thought that is exactly the way our life should be. As we are safari-ing through the jungle of stress, as believers, we can tap into a supernatural spa, a supernatural spa peace in the middle of our problems. As problems are swirling around us, and our circumstances can be in chaos, but we can tap into this spa of peace that can bubble up in our hearts and our minds. It is not about how to change the jungle. It’s not about how to get rid of all the problems in your life because that will never happen. It’s about how to have peace in the middle of the problems. It’s about how to take your jungle and turn it into a spafari.

In the Bible, there is a guy named Paul who is an expert at living the spafari life. It says that he was wrongly accused, then he was beaten, and he was put into prison. Then he was transferred to another prison in Rome, but on the way, he was shipwrecked. This guy had so many problems he couldn’t count them all, problem after problem after problem. But, there in that prison in Rome, while he was waiting to be executed by Nero, he wrote this passage in Philippians 4:6, 7. Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” He wrote about how to have joy. He wrote about all the peace that he had. He talked about this spiritual spa of peace that was welling up in his heart and his mind.