a journal entry:
As I lay here tonight with one worry or another racing through my mind, keeping me from resting peacefully, I exhale and whisper,
“Jesus take me away. Just take me away with you.”
I immediately get a picture of a wooded area surrounding a body of water. It reminds me of Sandy Bottom Nature Park in my nearby hometown. Jesus is there and He grabs my hand. Together we walk around to the side of the nature path where the green trees are hovering over the still waters. There’s maybe a dribble or a gulp here or there from life below, but otherwise, the waters are just so still.
“He leads me beside still waters…
beside waters of rest.”
He takes me with Him into a small boat and we drift across the waters, in no rush for anything at all. It reminds me of when my husband is driving and as I begin to become impatient (as I usually do), he likes to say, “Just relax. We have nothing but time.”
Jesus isn’t even paddling; we are just coasting through, taking time to enjoy the still waters… these still waters of rest. There’s nothing like a peaceful boat ride. We had no agenda while in this boat. We just sat there, without saying a word, taking in the gentle atmosphere.
I then started to think,
“I never want to get off this boat. If I get off this boat, I go back to reality…. to the ‘this,’ the ‘that,’ the mundane, the fray, the bills, the ‘what am I going to do with my life’ type of stuff…. So no, I don’t want to get off. Let’s just stay right here on this boat. Right here is good. I won’t rush it, Jesus.”
But just as these thoughts go through my mind, Jesus directs the boat onto the shore on the other side. He has said that before, right?
“Let us go to the other side.” Mark 4:35
Jesus gets out and graciously takes my hand to help me as the boat rocks and sways from side to side. I step out with Him and wonder what’s next. What is He up to? Where is He leading me?
We walk over and take a seat on an old wooden bench beneath a cherry tree. It’s odd that I knew it was a cherry tree when I couldn’t actually see the fruit. But there we sat together and He started to talk with me. You know, He has a soft nature about Him but then again He’s so sure of Himself, confident and strong. He isn’t rattled or concerned. He knows everything there is to know, yet He is still at peace and I can sense at this moment that His heart desires that I would so grasp what He wants to relay to me.
He plucks a leaf from the tree above and shows it to me, twirling it back and forth in between His fingers as He’s talking. He then extends his hand ahead as if to point out the beauty of the fields and the scenic view before us. This is what I sense Him saying:
“No matter what season it is, no matter if the trees are in full bloom or if leaves are fading away, there is no toil here. Whatever comes its way, it [nature] just adapts and knows that it’s not forever. Its day to bloom is coming and will come again. The seasons, the weather elements… all of these things are part of the process. Nature as a whole actually becomes stronger over time. Trees become taller and their roots grow deeper. It’s so interesting. What a mystery this thing is called nature. It seems beautiful, yet sometimes messy and sometimes not so attractive… but then Spring comes and things begin to turn green again. More and more days pass by and some parts of nature even thrive in the hottest temperatures of Summer… and then they can’t wait for the cool breeze of Fall and their time to rest in Winter….”
“You see, I don’t want you to worry about a thing. I don’t want you to think about how things will work out. The cares of this life can be such a drag. But as long as you are with me, you will never want for a thing. Through every season, you will prosper. Don’t look at what it appears to be on the surface, but know that there is always growth happening and there is always prosperity when you stick with me. There are treasures hidden in the messes of life and how you access those treasures is through me. There must be a trust that goes beyond the natural eye. There must be a trust rooted as deep as the trees. That’s who you are. Don’t take your eyes off of me and what I’m showing you today. Fix your eyes upon me. You will see such beauty arise. You will see such life arise. You will see green, upon green, upon green, with waters of rest in between, when you stick with me. You have chosen well to accept my invitation today. Let my words never leave you.”