A year or so after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, I attended a workshop for ministry colleagues focusing on renewing our spirits after a hard year of ministry. The facilitator, Sr. Lucy, shared a story that continues to stay with me to this day and is perfectly fitting for our theme this week… Resting with Jesus.
Sr. Lucy told of a conversation she had with a woman who had been in New Orleans not only during Hurricane Katrina, but in the months afterwards doing pastoral ministry and rebuilding work. The woman shared with Sr. Lucy how she was having trouble praying. She shared how she had a mix of feeling completely exhausted and poured out. Having lost most of her own belongings in the storm as well, she shared with Sr. Lucy how angry she was at God and how overwhelmed she felt at the devastation and loss in not only her life but in everyone’s life.
Sr. Lucy asked her, “What’s your prayer like right now?”
The woman replied to her, “All that comes is an image of Jesus sitting in a boat. I’m sitting with him in it. I’m too tired to talk. I feel I cannot do anything, listen or even say anything. We are just sitting there together.”
As Sr. Lucy listened to the woman, she affirmed how honest her prayer is and how powerful this image was. She asked the woman, “Aren’t you simply resting with Jesus?” She went on to encourage the woman to simply stay there with him in the boat. Rest with him in the safety of the boat. You are with me. He is with you.
Be Still and Know that I am God
This image continues to support me in my prayer all these years later, especially when I am feeling exhausted, poured out and tired.
I don’t know about you, but there are moments in my life when all I can do is get in the boat with Jesus and simply be there. If I am honest, there are moments when I feel I cannot even get into the boat because of feeling too tired. Sometimes, when I get into the boat with Jesus words do not come. Sometimes, I am too tired to hear what he might have to offer me via words.
Resting with Jesus in the boat reminds me of Psalm 46: 11, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” Sitting in the presence of the One who loves us, knows us, and sees us is sometimes the most powerful prayer we can pray. That’s the gift of a friendship with Jesus. He doesn’t require words from us. He doesn’t demand our prayer be filled with action. In my experience of prayer, I feel Jesus simply celebrates that we are there.
Inviting You Deeper Challenge:
There is a gift in simply resting with Jesus. Be with him. Acknowledge he is with you.
- Read Be Still with Jesus and Never Alone
- Make a one-on-one retreat online with a spiritual director during our Lenten Online Busy Person Retreat, coming up March 16-19. There is still space available! Please consider if you’re being called to join us and take this time to rest with Jesus!
- Register for my new online retreat that brings the preached retreat experience to your email with content sent weekly for you to work through individually, on your own schedule, giving you resources to help you find stillness and build a prayer practice, “Overwhelmed No More: 6 Ways to Discover and Live God’s Vision for Your Life”.
The Inner Chapel: MY NEW BOOK!
- I cannot imagine carrying this next book, The Inner Chapel, out into the world without your help. I would love for you to join The Inner Chapel Launch Team! Together, let’s birth this book into the world and spread the Good News! Read more about it here or go directly to the sign up page here. Sign up by Thursday, March 12 at Midnight!
- Pre-order here and watch your email for a special invitation next week to be on my Book Launch Team.
- In the Baton Rouge Area? Come celebrate the new book with us! The Inner Chapel Book Launch Party is April 18 at St. Thomas More Parish. Come for the 4:30pm vigil mass and then move to the parish hall for food, celebration, prayer, and book signings. Flyer here. RSVP here.
Inviting you Deeper as We Walk with Christ:
- Lenten Edition of the retreat that comes to you! March 16-19, 2020: Online Busy Person’s Retreat
- March 28, 2020: Women’s Retreat at St. Rita Parish, Dallas, TX
- March 29-31, 2020: Church of the Presentation Parish Mission, New Jersey
- April 4, 2020: Women’s Lenten Day of Reflection, Birmingham, AL
- Make plans to join me on an in-person Silent Ignatian retreat for women! Seeking Grace: August 27-30, 2020 at Rosaryville Spirit Life Center with Stephanie Clouatre Davis. More info & register here.
- Sign up for my Prayer Team and pledge to pray for the weekly prayer requests posted on my Facebook & Instagram, and for the attendees of upcoming events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.