The sound of waves gently breaking on the shore. Seagulls and pelicans flying peacefully overhead. Iridescent shells lying in wait in the sand. A thrilling book and surfers as entertainment.
These are the things I’d been looking forward to for years. A chance to get away to my favorite place in the world and de-stress, unwind, unravel. Be still.
It started the week we were supposed to leave. My son’s car needed a repair. And before his was back from the shop, our car decided to join it. For three or four days, four of us juggled one car for rides to work and back.
The day before we were to leave on my long-awaited, much-needed dream vacation, my husband’s foot seemed to reinjure (how he didn’t know) and at 2:30 am, T minus 6 hours, he was in the emergency room with an extremely painful, right foot. It was broken.
Somewhere around 9:00 am we managed to load up our rented vehicle and hop on the freeway. Finally, we were on our way. Here I come, peace and quiet!
We were out of the city, well on our way. Traffic wasn’t bad. A pick-up truck pulling a trailer and boat passed us. I was talking to my husband who was doing his best to drive on his gimpy foot, when I saw his eyes suddenly grow wide.
I turned to the road to see a tire roll off the trailer and fly up in the air fifty or sixty feet. My husband swerved to avoid it when we heard something come down hard on the roof of the rental car. We pulled over and looked. Something—a nut, a hubcap, something had dented the roof about a foot back from the windshield. We still have no idea what it was.
We got back in the car and headed on our way. At long last, we were headed toward rest and relaxation. My mind could let go of the world and all the problems that come with it for a little while.
We finally arrived at our heavenly retreat. The moment I’d waited for. Nothing but time spent in the tranquility of the sand and sea. Nirvana. Xanadu.
During our week at our refuge from the world, the garbage disposal broke, a toilet broke, the rental car was dented twice by a huge, square pole sitting in our parking space and while our sons were out on a solo trip to a comic book store, a ladder fell out the back of a truck on the highway and my son was forced to run over it.
I wanted so much to run away from the world, even if only for a week. Seven days of peace from bills, pain, work, t.v., the horrid news.
Seven days with my family. Seven days to exhale. Seven days to rest.
And there were some definite times of rest and relaxation. But I found I couldn’t leave all my troubles behind. Going away was no magic cure-all. It wasn’t the answer to my weary soul.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus invites us to come to Him to find rest for our souls. And He is wherever we are.
It’s not the sand and the waves, or the mountains and stars, or an exotic city where we’ll find true rest.
It’s in the person of Jesus Christ.
We can lay our burdens down at His feet and know He’ll give us rest, peace, joy and a way through our troubles. He is the rest our souls are longing for.
So if you dream of going away on a fancy vacation to get some rest, remember vacations aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. And even if it goes off without a hitch, it's only a temporary solution to our permanent need for Jesus.
He loves you and He's waiting.
What's your favorite place to get away with Jesus?