Think beach. Think campground. No…go back to the beach. Stay there awhile today and let your mind take a vacation, even for just a few moments. Almost nothing pulls us away from life’s worries and cares like sitting on a beach as the water ebbs and flows entirely on its own, requiring nothing from us. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small, (Psalm 104:25 NIV). The smell of the ocean, the warm breeze, and gentle waves…it’s the perfect combination for total relaxation. It’s what happens on a vacation. We forget about our normal, day-to-day settings and concerns, and our bodies and souls are refreshed by new sights, sounds, and experiences.
Jesus appreciated lakeshores and quiet moments by the sea. One day after teaching crowds of people as He sat inside one of the disciple’s boats, He knew it was time to take a break, so He suggested they go to the other side of the lake. As the boat moved away from the shore, Jesus found a pillow and place to lie down, and there the Son of God fell asleep, exhausted from a full day’s work of teaching and ministry. The peaceful lapping of the water against the boat, the rhythmical rocking of the boat, the quiet hush of voices as the Savior slept was the perfect escape into a blissful nap. Just a REM cycle…that’s all I need, I can imagine Him thinking. How many times do we work ourselves into a frazzle and collapse in a recliner for a brief catnap to revive ourselves—even twenty minutes will suffice. It’s a mental vacation, and it’s usually effective in perking us up for the rest of the day.
Jesus’ mental vacation was abruptly aborted that day though, as a fierce storm arose on the lake. The beautiful shoreline disappeared as waves violently swirled around them and crashed onto the boat. The disciples feared for their lives. Jesus kept sleeping, for peace defined Him—He knew no fear or anxiety. He was vacationing in a place of undisturbed soul-rest that is best described in Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT): Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Frantically, the disciples woke Him, and He took control of the situation. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?" When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then He asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:38-40 NLT).
Each of us needs to push our boat of busyness away from the shore and allow Christ to be in charge of it and the waves that threaten to crash it. Psalm 89:9 (NIV) says You [God] rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, You still them.
Take time to vacation with Jesus today. Even ten minutes of quietly resting in His Presence will pull you away from life’s worries and cares. Think beach. Think Jesus. Think rest.
© 2021, Chris Werre