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     So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Eccles. 8:15

Gracious Father, the past few weeks have been pretty demanding and depleting. I’m thankful you understand our frailties and our need for refreshment. If you never commanded Sabbath rest, I probably wouldn’t take it. And If you never commended the enjoyment of life, I’d go to the extremes of either taking simple joys for granted or worshiping pleasure altogether.

So today, I’m slowing down enough just to say thank you—thank you for designing us for pleasure—for the experience of delight. Thank you for putting sensate responders and nerve endings in our bodies. Thank you for taste buds and aesthetic wiring. You are glorified in our enjoyment. Thank you for intending that joy would accompany us in our work all the days you have given us under the sun—often exhausting, thankless, and seemingly, fruitless work.

I praise you for the alluring aroma of baking bread and fresh coffee. I praise you for my wife’s kind touch and my grandson’s infectious giggle. I praise you for the “Ooh”-producing texture of cheese cake and the “Ahh”-generating taste of flour-less dark chocolate cake. I praise you for low humidity days enveloped in rich blue skies. I praise you for the tug of a fish on the end of my line and evenings of good conversation with a handful of friends.

I praise you for the relaxing sound of ocean waves, the memory-connecting music of the sixties; the well-timed greeting of a friend; and how good it feels to finish a walk and start a new book. I praise you for the permanent smile on the face of a dolphin; the never-the-same array of sunrises and sunsets; the precise ways you show up when I need you the most—like you are right now.

Father, our ongoing work under the blazing sun has meaning because of the finished work of your beloved Son. Because the gospel is true, we can glorify you now and enjoy you forever. Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation! So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ holy name.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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