Boat Time with Jesus

"Boat time with Jesus" by Claire McGarry (

Image credit: (2017), CC0/PD

When I had to get a job last November, I tried to find one within a few miles of my house. If I was going to be away from my family for 30 to 40 hours a week, I didn’t want to extend that by adding a long commute. Lo and behold, I ended up at a job 25 miles from home. Depending on the traffic, that adds an extra hour each day.

But you know what they say: Who’s to say what’s bad or good?

I have one of those jobs where it’s so darned busy from the second I walk in, I sometimes don’t have a chance to take off my coat until an hour into my shift. In the reverse, when I get home, I have 20 minutes to cook dinner so my oldest gets something to eat before I have to drive him to Robotics. Most nights, I cook dinner in my coat and don’t get to take it off until after I’ve dropped him off. As of late, I feel the disciples’ pain in Mark 6.

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 Author

Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, These Days devotional, and the 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.


  1. Jessica Weller on

    Love this so much Claire. It truly is about our perspective and finding those moments amidst the busyness to fill up our souls!

    • You’re absolutely right, Jess! And the more I spend time in the boat with Jesus, the more I realize He’s able to fill us in whatever time frame we’re able to give Him. Thank goodness for that because life seems to get busier and busier every day. 🙂

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.