As I read and reflected on Matthew 13:1-9, the words “sat beside the lake” as a prelude to Jesus sharing the parable of the sower jumped out at me. I sensed Him asking me to come aside and join Him there because Jesus is the calm centre of our hearts, the means of all spiritual and physical refreshment for us.

“Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake.” — Matthew 13:1 NLT

My sitting is a solo act, not as part of an attentive listening crowd, as it was then. An act of turning away from activity and worldly cares and concerns, and a turning toward stillness and rest, blessed by His compassionate companionship.

So many things drain us, agitate our minds and hearts, and steal away our peace, don’t they? What Jesus offers all weary pilgrims is a quiet place where we can meet with Him, our Shepherd/Saviour-King, and find rest for our depleted souls.

It might involve a deliberate laying aside of our daily activities and lengthy To Do lists, our need for control and our drive for success. Not that those things are necessarily wrong in and of themselves but they require running through a holy filter to be sorted and sifted into treasure worth keeping or not.

lake - Lasting peace and rest can only be found in surrender and inner stillness quote (C) joylenton

Lasting peace and rest can only be found in surrender and inner stillness. Once we learn how to leave our cares and concerns in the Saviour’s hands, we can go about our daily lives with a resting mindfulness.

Inner calm is possible in the midst of outer hurry and haste, providing we remember to regularly return to remembrance of Whose we are, who is really in charge, and lift everything to God. Then we seek His wisdom and strength above our own.

A deepening awareness of God’s presence becomes a living reality when we yield and make sacred space to commune with the Lord as we go through our day. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or heavy. A few thoughtful seconds can suffice to remind us of Christ’s presence.

Jesus also desires to remove the burden of expectation of a perceived outcome from us. His rest is one whereby we can let go of self-imposed rules and perfectionism and take hold of His freeing friendship instead.

Because it’s all about relationship. A matter of the heart. A giving and receiving based on love alone. God initiates the spark that draws us to Him and we are compelled by His love to want to come aside and sit beside the Lake of Love as often as we need to.

lake - God's rest and freeing friendship quote (C) joylenton

Rivers of grace bathe a wounded soul back to wholeness. Oceans of mercy and forgiveness are what keep us buoyant. A pathway of peace is what we learn to pursue when we sense ourselves getting into thorny territory again, although we will still find fruit along the way.

We can relax because the One who holds the universe together is also holding hard on to us. Our parched souls become refreshed as we sit by God’s lake of love and drink from His endless stream of Living Water.

It’s dawned on me that I need to do this more frequently. A recent medication shortage mix-up caused me to experience dreadful opiod withdrawal symptoms—some of which I’m still struggling with—therefore I have an urgent need to rest, recover and heal.

In light of this, I will be sharing less frequently here over the summer months. May I encourage you to make time to listen to God and respond, especially if He is asking you to sit quietly with Him and become rested, refreshed and restored.

Because if Jesus, who had a time-driven agenda and purposeful mission to fulfil, was busy and hard-pressed yet considered time out to rest to be a necessity, then it must be good for you and me. May God abide with you, my friend, and meet you in your areas of loss, weariness, struggle or pain with His ever-open arms of love ready to embrace. 💜

lake - Pursuing a pathway of peace quote (C) joylenton