One Sunday I woke up feeling overwhelmed. Several projects on my plate were consuming my focus, and closure was eluding me. I'd only been awake a few minutes when my family suggested we go to the beach for an hour or two before church. What? Go to the beach before church? Go get all sandy before church? You want me to body surf before breakfast?
That's exactly what we did.
As soon as my toes hit the sand, I knew this was a good idea. Each shifting step toward the glistening water, brought me closer to refreshment. As I eased into the surf, slightly chilly water rushed over my ankles. Catching my breath, I pressed forward, breathing deep as the water reached my knees and waves splashed up to my waist. I kept walking until my chest was submerged under the flowing water, and the tension drained from my body and mind. The only thing I could or cared to do was focus on the beauty of God's creation around me and the nearness of my family. Projects and decisions that had threatened to overtake me, were washed to the backburner of my mind. For the next hour or so, I floated over swells, dove through waves, and surfed on the salty sea foam. I walked out of that water feeling alive again.
A favorite Bible passage of mine is Ezekiel 47 where the prophet experiences a vision of God's temple. He is shown the Temple by a heavenly host -- perhaps an angel, or perhaps even Christ Himself. Out of this Temple, past its altar, flows a stream of water that becomes a massive river. Read for yourself Ezekiel's experience there:
"Then the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing eastward from beneath the Temple threshold. This stream then passed to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the stream flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
Measuring as he went, he led me along the stream for 1,750 feet and told me to go across. At that point the water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and told me to go across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to cross without swimming.
He told me to keep in mind what I had seen; then he led me back along the riverbank. Suddenly, to my surprise, many trees were now growing on both sides of the river! Then he said to me, 'This river flows east through the desert into the Jordan Valley, where it enters the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will heal the salty waters of the Dead Sea and make them fresh and pure. Everything that touches the water of this river will live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live.'" (Ezekiel 47:1-9, NLT)
Dear Lord, forgive me of my sins and plunge me deep into Your river. This is where I want to be. Cover me, wash me, cleanse me, heal me, and purify me. Make me spiritually alive and in tune with You today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Rachel Olsen - Proverbs 31 Ministries