One Minute Vacation - Encouragement Café - September 11

One Minute Vacation
 By Dawn Murray

Just as dawn was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore. The disciples didn’t realize it was Jesus. John 21:4 ISV

There was a time when I used to read my bible every day. I journaled about my gratitude every morning and eagerly attended worship every week. I spoke to the Lord frequently throughout my day.  I was filled with new love for Jesus and I couldn’t get enough time with him!

That seems like a long time ago.  I have recently become aware that I am so “busy”, that my relationship with Jesus isn’t a priority.  My “to-do” list is endless.  I’m never caught up.  I’m not productive. I often say, “In a minute ….” to my family.  I never see my friends.  I skip church. I’m too tired to journal or study scripture. 

The consequences are that I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and distracted.  I feel BROKEN.

My husband and I realized recently that we were both feeling worn down.  Maybe a vacation would help?  It seemed impossible to schedule.  In April, we sat down with our calendars and realized that the ONLY time we could get away would be in August.  There was a three-day window. We pounced on it. 

We both own small businesses and we live on a farm, so there was a lot of planning to do before we could leave.  We chose a beach we hadn’t visited before and made reservations.  There was a “carrot in front of the horse” and we looked forward to having a break.  

After much waiting, prepping, planning, packing, and driving, we arrived at the hotel last Friday.  On Saturday morning, I crept down to the shore with my daughter to watch the sunrise.  I was overcome with gratitude, rest, and joy.  Without thinking, I whispered the words, “Thank you, Jesus”. 

It was in that moment that I heard Him whisper back.  For a long time, I had missed that voice because I was always too BUSY to listen.  Tears fell as I realized how far I had drifted away from my Lord.  I felt TOO FAR to find my way back. 

The words of John 21:4 came to mind.  “As dawn was breaking”.  (I know this means ‘morning’, but I WAS breaking.)  “Jesus stood on the shore”.  (Yes, Lord.  I FEEL your presence!) “The disciples didn’t realize it was Him.” (How often have I not recognized YOU, how often have I not noticed that YOU are always right here with me?)

In that instant, I knelt in the sand.  I confessed my sins.  I asked for forgiveness.  I accepted God’s grace.  I got back up.  In a matter of moments, I felt inspired, refreshed, and UNBROKEN.  I felt ready to re-evaluate my priorities and make changes.

How about you, friend?  Do you feel OVERWHELMED, BUSY and BROKEN?  Have you drifted away?  Do you feel like your sin has built a wall between you and God? 

If your answer is yes, I invite you to stop everything right now and acknowledge that Jesus IS present with you.  Recognize Him.

Tell Him that you miss Him and that you are sorry that you’ve wandered from Him.  Ask Him to meet you right where you are, to forgive your sins, and to renew your faith.  It only takes a moment to recognize Him.

Lord Jesus, Thank You for loving us when we feel unlovable. Thank You for being present, even when we do not recognize You. Thank You for being ready in an instant to meet us where we are and renew our relationship with You.  In Your precious Name we pray.  Amen.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  Pull up a chairHe’s been waiting for you.

Need a refill?  Please join us at the Encouragement Café with Luann and Friends

The conversation at the Café is always hot and fresh.  We invite you to listen in as we gather around the table to discuss everyday life.

Comfort food for your soul is always on our menuand friends are always close enough to hug.  We invite you to join us daily, as our writer’s share how the Lord continues to transform them into His glorious image.

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Originally published Monday, 11 September 2023.