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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Walk Where Jesus Walked

Have you ever followed Jesus’ steps in the Holy Land? If not, you might be surprised to know that it’s hard to experience Jesus, really experience his presence – even in the land of the Bible! Even when you take over 150 special pictures and fill your journal with reflections and prayers like my wife Kristi did on the tour we helped lead.

At the holy sites in Israel, there are so many distractions. Crowds of people pushing to get closer. Venders selling souvenirs and trying to pick our pockets. Competing religious groups staking out turf. My expectations and my pride. Noise in the streets. Noise in my head. Noise. Noise!

But my wife Kristi and I, along with our friends, just wanted to be pilgrims, not tourists, and walk where Jesus walked – with Jesus.

We soon discovered that the best place to find Jesus was at the Sea of Galilee. As we sailed across the lake, I imagined myself as one of Jesus’ disciples in the boat and Jesus walking on the water toward us. And I meditated on Peter’s bold prayer:

“Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, ...” Matthew 14:28 (NLT)

When we reached the other side of the lake it was lunchtime. But I was hungry for Jesus. Really hungry. Who cares about eating when you’re hungry for Jesus? In fact, I’ve learned that longing for God is a good reason not to eat for a while. So I took a walk by myself and searched for my Lord, hoping for some way to make contact with him ... and then to hold on for dear life!

One of the ways I met Jesus had to do with a rock. There are rocks everywhere in Israel – also in the Bible where a rock is the most common symbol for God. For instance, we pray with David,

“... my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, ...” Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

Just a Simple Rock

Just a simple rock
Found on a solitary walk;
Yet, an answer to prayer:
Being with Jesus my only care.
This Ebenezer is shaped as the Sea of Galilee
From which it came with many a memory:
Soft and smooth as the stormy seas he made calm,
His dear presence a healing balm,
Like the sea called Gennesaret Lake
(For it’s harp-like music and shape)
Where heaven’s waves lap so sweet and gentle
As they sing the words of Jesus: “Peace. Be Still.”

Just a simple rock
Found on a solitary walk;
A sacred stone to rub a prayer
To Jesus here, there, and everywhere.
It was pure white as my holy Lord
Until by my dirty fingers it was grayed;
With my touch of faith in Jesus
He receives my sin to give me his holiness.
Oh how I delight in the wonders of his grace
As I see the smile on his face!
Where the Gadarene demoniac was set free
I also met Jesus and offer testimony.

Just a simple rock
Found on a solitary walk.
When noisy crowds press in on the street
Following Jesus to the lake is my retreat.
What joy to walk where Jesus walks,
To keep in stride with him and talk and talk.
His yoke is light and easy –
Tied to him I always want to be.
When he walks on the water
And bids, “Come to me. Come closer,”
On Jesus alone I fix my eyes
So I too can walk on water by-and-by.

Let’s pray…

Dear Jesus, you’re not only at the Sea of Galilee but you’re also in the busy streets and the lonely houses. You’re present with me as I type out these words at my computer in Irvine, California and you’re with each one who is reading these words at whatever spot on this globe he or she is sitting on. Jesus, we long to walk with you and to know your loving kindness. We’re desperate to overcome our blindness and get a glimpse of your beauty. We’re so hungry for your manna from heaven – just a Word from your heart will fill our souls. In the midst of our stresses and struggles, our delights and our dreams, you alone are our Rock – eternal, strong, true, and comforting. Help us to hold onto you in simple things like the rock you gave me at the Sea of Galilee. Amen.

Reprinted with permission from SoulShepherding.org

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