People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. (Mark 6:32-33)The disciples had just come back from teaching and healing. Jesus could see they needed to be rejuvenated. So, He makes the plan for them all to "come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Off they all go in a boat. I can imagine them exhaling, truly and deeply, for the first time in ages. It's only by exhaling that we make room enough to be refilled. But as they get closer to their destination, where peace and restoration have been promised, they see the crowds that have gotten there before them. Like the mouth-watering triple-chocolate mousse that you order for dessert, only to have the waiter tell you it's all gone, the disciples see their promised time alone with Jesus snatched away. Except they already have Him in the boat! They had Him alone from the moment they left one shore, and they'll have Him for as long as it takes to pull up to the next. If they take full advantage of that, it can be enough. I think they did. That's how they go on to accompany Jesus amidst the crowd of five thousand for the miraculous multiplication of the fishes and the loaves. In the same vein, I've found a way to capitalize on my 25-mile commute to and from work. I tune into a Christian radio station that fills me up through amazing preaching and music. Rather than detracting from my day, that time in my car has turned into my boat time with Jesus. Like the disciples, I find it's enough to restore me for what comes next. Wherever your boat time is, be it in the car, in the shower, or in the pantry where you hide away for five minutes, I encourage you to climb aboard, be restored, and most of all, anchor yourself in Him.
Copyright 2019 Claire McGarry
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.