Haven of Rest

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Summertime is filled with so many activities and as the temperatures get hotter here in the Treasure Valley, finding a place to cool down is definitely a priority.  Lakes and streams become a destination for many folks seeking a change of climate to beat the heat!

Idaho has more than 2,000 lakes with names, and thousands of others without names. Some Idaho lakes can’t be found on any map! Two of Idaho’s northern lakes are said to be among the most beautiful in the world. Lake Coeur d’Alene and Lake Pend Oreille (the largest in the state with a surface area of 180 square miles).

Bear Lake is another beautiful lake located on the Idaho-Utah border and is famous for its spectacular turquoise colour, giving it the nickname the ‘Caribbean of the Rockies’. This is one of the most visited lakes in Idaho not only for its beauty, but also for its endemic fish species. It also features a lovely 1.8 mile beach, some great hiking trails and offers numerous recreational activities, like sailing and fishing.

There is another lake famous for sailing and fishing which is in a totally different part of the world.  It is the Sea of Galilee which is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide.  At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep.

Jesus spent a lot of time during his public ministry on and around this lake, teaching the people about the kingdom of God, demonstrating his power over nature, traveling back and forth on the lake, and even sitting in a boat just off shore to talk to the great crowds that followed him.

During one of these trips across the lake, a great storm arose and terrified his disciples, many who were fishermen!  Jesus was asleep in the boat when the storm began to rage.

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”  Matthew‬ ‭8:24-26‬ ‭

Jesus did this sign of calming the lake to demonstrate his power over nature and to help his disciples know that he truly is the Messiah, the unique son of God.

Another time, after Jesus had fed a great crowd of people with a few loaves of bread and fish, he sent his disciples across the lake ahead of him.  He wanted to pray and planned to follow them later (John 6:18-21 & Matthew 14:23-27).

“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.””  Matthew‬ ‭14:23-27‬ ‭

Jesus again demonstrates that he has authority and power over nature.  And not only over the natural storms that strike, but he also has power over the emotional, spiritual and physical storms that overwhelm our lives from time to time. Just as his disciples learned that being in a boat with Jesus is always safe, even in a storm, we can know that being in the kingdom of God, our spiritual boat, is always safe, even in the midst of storms.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!”  Psalms‬ ‭107:28-31‬ ‭

We invite you to come and see for yourself the haven of rest in Jesus.

My soul, in sad exile, was out on life’s sea,

So burdened with sin and distressed;

Then I heard a sweet voice saying, “Make Me your choice,”

And I entered the Haven of Rest.

I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest.

I’ll sail the wide seas no more.

The tempest may sweep o’er the wild, stormy deep;

In Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

I yielded myself to His tender embrace,

Faith taking hold of His Word,

My fetters fell off!

And I anchored my soul!

The Haven of Rest is my Lord!

I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest.

I’ll sail the wide seas no more.

The tempest may sweep o’er the wild, stormy deep;

In Jesus, I’m safe evermore!

Oh, I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest!

I’ll sail the wide seas no more.

The tempest may sweep o’er the wild, stormy deep;

In Jesus, I’m safe evermore! Safe evermore!

(Haven Of Rest, Lyrics by Henry Gilmore)