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Have you been to the lake this summer? Did you pack up the car and visit the ocean or camp at the Grand Canyon? Did you travel to see far-flung friends or family, and spend time just sitting on the deck talking? It’s all part of the vacation experience that we look forward to at this time of year.

A vacation can do wonders. Sitting in a gently rocking boat with a fishing pole in hand can ease away stress. Seeing new sights and catching up on the news from loved ones can help mend frayed nerves. A good vacation refreshes both the body and mind and gives us a new perspective on life.

There are all kinds of vacation destinations from which to choose: Disneyland, a national park, a special city you have always wanted to see, and so forth. But the best spot of all unfortunately usually goes unnoticed and unappreciated. This one has none of the logistical problems such as getting two weeks off work, saving money, fighting crowds, and spending endless hours on the road. This place is accessible to all and yet it is never overcrowded, and nothing is more refreshing for the whole family regardless of age.

What is this ideal vacation get-away? God says: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. . . . Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Is. 55:1, 3). Jesus extends the same open invitation to all: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28).

A spiritual “vacation” is as close as the Word of Christ. Listen to those quiet waters gently lapping as they calm stressed-out hearts with the unspoiled peace of God. The Word assures you that in spite of everything that is wrong with work, the neighbors, yourself, and the world, all is well between you and God, for Jesus took all the wrong on Himself and paid the penalty for it on the cross.

Unload all your fears, failures, and troubles on Jesus. There is no better person with whom to spend relaxing quality time. He is never too busy to listen and care, and He promises His divine strength to see you through whatever the future might hold.

So this summer, whether you’re off to the lake or just the backyard Weber, take a break from the wear-and-tear of daily life. Take a real vacation! Find that special spot and time each day when you can “get away from it all” by reading a chapter of Scripture.

Take a break and talk to the Lord in prayer. Really talk to Him! Let the words come from your heart. Share with Him your deepest hurts as well as your fondest dreams.

Between the end of one hectic week and the start of another, take a break. Join your spiritual brothers and sisters in the Lord’s house to praise Him for mercies fresh and new every morning. Take a break and look forward to coming back rested, refreshed, and ready for continued service in the Lord’s kingdom!

–Pastor Michael Eichstadt