Daily D – Matthew 13:1
Matthew 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. (NIV)
What is it about bodies of water that soothes us so?
The Tom Hanks movie Cast Away works on so many levels. It is a long movie by today’s standards with a runtime of two hours and twenty-three minutes. Seeing it in the theater when it first came out, I wanted it to last another thirty minutes or so. I wanted to sit with Hanks on the beach watching the waves advance and retreat.
The ultimate luxury for retirement living, for me at least, would be a house on a quiet lake with good fishing. Watching the sun rise over water and set in the same manner each day would provide a little bit of heaven on earth.
I wonder what Jesus pondered as he sat there in those moments alone. Jesus being Jesus, he wasn’t alone for long. Verse 2 tells us, “And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down.”
I wonder if anyone there at that moment remembered Psalm 23?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3 ESV)
Still waters. Quiet waters (NIV, CSB). Peaceful streams (NLT). Quiet pools (The Message).
Something about bodies of water refreshes us (NIV), renews us (CSB, NLT), restores us (ESV).
When Jesus began teaching, he talked about The Path. His path next led him toward home. This chapter finishes in Jesus’ hometown (verses 53-58). Jesus taught. People were amazed (verse 54). People took offense at him (verse 57). Jesus did not do many miracles there (verse 58). The next chapter finds Jesus withdrawing “by boat privately to a solitary place” (14:13).
The crowds quickly found him. Jesus “had compassion on them and healed their sick,” (verse 14). Then came the feeding of the five thousand.
Jesus sent his disciples away by boat and dismissed the crowd (verses 22 and 23) while “he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” Then he took a stroll on the water (verses 25 and 26).
When is your next appointment with a body of water? When will you gaze and ponder while breathing out the weariness and breathing in the refreshment?
I will sit by the water and receive refreshment and restoration.
Our Father, thank you for bodies of water. They help us ponder your beauty and wonder. They stir our memories. They refresh our sagging spirits. They restore our souls. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”