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Rest stop

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’  So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”


As we approached the span bridge that crossed the Intracoastal waterway, my husband said, “Drop your baggage here.” He knew carrying the week’s worries to our vacation house would ruin our time away and hinder the enjoyment of those traveling with us.


The disciples were happy to assist Jesus in ministry. However, they were exhausted and hungry because they were busy meeting people’s needs. Jesus understood the wearying effects of service and invited the disciples to come away with him to a quiet place. They welcomed his invitation. We should, too. However, to ensure a restful stay, we must consider a few things.


Before the disciples stepped into the boat and pushed away from the shore, they gathered around Jesus and shared the results of their days on the road. They celebrated their successes and prayed about their challenges. Do we share the events of our days with Jesus? Do we take our challenges to him or dump the day’s contents on the first unsuspecting person who comes through the door? 


1 Peter 5:7 invites us to cast our cares on the Lord. Is there baggage we need to throw overboard before we leave for our places of rest this summer?


Maybe too many commitments fill our schedules. Some may be necessary, but others are often self-inflicted. Are there things we should’ve said no to but didn’t? Tangible as well as intangible items can threaten our boat’s stability. Material blessings become burdens if we fail to use them as God intends. Hurts inflicted by others or disturbing events beyond our control can result in emotional baggage. Since an overloaded boat runs the risk of capsizing, we should examine its contents before shoving off. 


We can ensure our boats stay afloat by placing our baggage at the feet of Jesus and prayerfully considering each piece. He will show us which things we need for our journey and those we should leave behind. List what you believe adds to your boat’s instability and ask, “Is this something I should throw overboard, an item only God can eliminate, or one I need to hold on to?” 


Before you travel to your places of rest this summer, toss the excess baggage, evenly distribute the remaining pieces, and make room for God’s presence. Then, cast off and enjoy your time away.