The past several weeks have been extremely stressful, caused by various situations and encounters with some difficult people in my life. Yesterday was the clincher, a day that just about drove me over the edge. A good majority of the time, I felt as if I had a huge weight bearing down on my chest, making it hard for me to breathe. And I spent most of the afternoon and evening battling to keep several panic attacks at bay.
I woke up this morning, with remnants of stress still hanging on. I felt like a bee trapped inside of a jar and my time alone with the Lord was ruined by the distractions running through my head, like words on those scrolling TV news tickers.
Afterwards, as I prepared to take one of my children to their early morning job, I felt a whisper in my soul:
"Come away with Me to a quiet place."
"Well, alrighty then, Lord. And where might that be?" I wondered. And as I ran out the door, I grabbed my camera, just in case I got some clearer directions along the way and found the need to document my time wherever I wound up.
Which, of course, I did.
At 6 AM, I found myself at the marina of a nearby park, where a certain bloggy friend of mine, Toni, from over at Lakeside Lessons, often spends some quality time with Jesus. It was cold, a bit windy and the sun was just beginning to make a glorious appearance. It was also peaceful, save for the excited cries and chatter between some feathered friends and the sound of the water lapping up on the shoreline.
In the gospel which bears his name, Mark paints a picture of Jesus' disciples returning from a mission to which He sent them. There is no mention of how long they were away, but as tired as they must be from the journey, they ARE very excited about all they did and everything they've witnessed. As they're in the midst of sharing with Jesus their stories of preaching, healing and driving out demons, we are told that there are many people coming and going all around them. So much so that they weren't even able to eat a meal.
That's when Jesus issues this invitation to His weary and hungry friends:
"Come away with Me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for awhile." (Mark 6:31)
Jesus takes them away by boat to a lonely place. Just Him and them. A place of rest and peace. Because that's what they needed.
And that is where Jesus invited me today. To a place of rest and peace. Just Him and me. Because He knew that's what I needed.
Won't you join me?
Tenth Avenue North -- Worn