Are you in need of refreshing? Perhaps you need an activity, or lack thereof, to renew personal strength and energy particularly after pouring out physically, emotionally, or mentally. These moments usually don’t just happen! Taking time to refresh often takes planning.
What ways have you developed to refresh yourself? A good book, a movie night, a vacation, a relaxing bath, a game of golf, a walk in the woods, a lounge on the couch, or time at the gym? For each of us it might look quite different.
I just spent a few days with others who are involved in ministry at a lakeside retreat. Those few days away with others of like mind was refreshing, enabling me to return home encouraged and with renewed vision.
It wasn’t without struggle though!
To refresh means to reinvigorate or give new strength or energy. I must admit I set out on this little adventure feeling tired. My mind and body were in need of some down time!
Those present were in full time ministry and have been most of their lives. Honestly, I felt like the odd man out or the ugly duckling – the one that just didn’t fit!
I can easily identify with farmers and labourers. It is a culture I know. Such has been my life’s work. The full time ministry environment is relatively new and feels a bit uncomfortable. like wearing a new pair of shoes.
After the first evening’s activities, I snuggled into my sleeping bag to read again from Romans.
“I urge you, brothers and sister, by our Lord Jesus Christ
and by the love of the Spirit,
to join me in my struggle
by praying to God for me.”
Now Paul’s struggle was serious! There were those seeking to take his life! He goes on to say…
“so that I may come to you with joy,
by God’s will,
and in your company be refreshed.”
Romans 15: 32
Sometimes God speaks very clearly! This was one of those nights! My struggle was a serious struggle of identity and belonging.
Here I was in the company of amazing men and women. God gently whispered His confirmation to this little servant that yes, it was His will, that I be here at a “Refresh” conference to, in fact, be refreshed!
I almost laughed at the simplicity of God’s affirming word. I began to recognize I am in His perfect spot at the right time to be reinvigorated, strengthened and energized.
To Stimulate Memory
Is it just me who knows, but forgets?
My Bible is an important tool to refresh my mind. The words within at times feel like a gentle reminder of truth, and at others like a baseball bat to the shin!
When I am weary and in need of refreshing, I can easily forget who I am in Christ.
“…with an anxious mind,
eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.
You will live in constant suspense,
filled with dread both night and day,
never sure of your life.”
Deuteronomy 28: 67-68
I am being painful honest. When I am feeling drained emotionally, physically, mentally or relationally, I fit this description!
Back up a few verses! You will find this is not a condition associated with the blessing God promises, but rather the result of opposing God. There is no victory on this side!
Even though these verses describe my feelings, they sure don’t describe my true position! Go back a few more verses and we taste of the real truth as a son or daughter of God:
“You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed,
and the crops of your land
and young of your livestock …
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in
and blessed when you go out.”
No room for anxiousness, weariness, or despair here! My circumstances may be a long way from lining up, but there is nothing to keep my mind and heart from agreeing with God’s truth about me and my family!
It is time to remember what I know!
To Refill a Container
The third main meaning of refresh is to refill, recharge, or replenish like a drink in a container.
I leak! That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but sometimes I forget that too!
I need to take time to refill, recharge and replenish those areas where I have been pouring into the lives of others. God is a never-ending Source; I am not!
The only way to truly fill up is in the Presence of God. There are no “drive-through windows” or “fast-track” to refuel. It requires time with God, waiting on the Holy Spirit, and lavishly worshiping Jesus. To refill our emptiness, we must wait in the stillness of quietly knowing and resting in Him. It is the beautiful being “with” God.
Here alone is the place of ultimate refresh!
“… be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Holy Spirit is ready to “keep on filling constantly and continually” our leaky containers. It is like being thirsty on a hot day, a sip of water is never enough! In the same way, only Holy Spirit satisfies are deepest thirst!
We come into His Presence one way and leave changed. Then when we “leak”, we leak Him! We leak His love and goodness! We leak His grace and truth!
In so doing, our refreshing, becomes the refreshing others can taste and see for themselves. I think leaky buckets is an apt description of God’s intention for us. God refreshes us for the purpose of leaking enough to refresh others. I like that!