©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
As summer draws to an end, have you noticed how we talk about ways we found refreshment during this time?
Vacations, reunions, explorations.
Beach time, mountain getaways, overseas travel.
Camps, cruises and climbs to mountaintops.
Swimming, hiking, and street café dining.
Outdoor adventures beckoned, but unusually hot temperatures caused many to develop new and renewed appreciation for refreshment found in the cool blasts of air conditioning (especially when they weren’t available!) And, oh, how a cold beverage on a hot day refreshes us! While I drink Diet Coke, Diet Root Beer and water these days, there was a time when southern sweet tea was my summer refreshment of choice.
But the kind of refreshment we most seek in the summer is mental and emotional, and sometimes even physical. The resting and rebooting of our mind and spirit and body. The experiencing something different that awakens our senses as we enjoy the wonders in our world.
Refreshment isn’t limited to places we go and people we’re with. Renewal is found through our reliance on God as we allow Him to seep deeper into our souls, our thoughts, our walks.
The Bible talks about the value of refreshment – and where we find it. Let’s look at six examples:
Refreshment through Release and Return
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “When I bring them back from captivity…I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jeremiah 31:23 a, 25 NIV
A world of weariness, pain and hurt tries to hold us hostage, but God has the power to release us from that, to draw us close, and to strengthen us anew.
Refreshment through Repentance
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19 NIV
Recognizing that we want and need the peace and forgiveness God offers us is the first step toward refreshment. Living Water is a beautiful description of what we can experience due to the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. Staying turned toward the Lord allows us to continue to be filled.
Refreshment through Rest – as we Trust in God
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2 NIV
Rest becomes possible when we trust God that through His power we can be secure not fearful, protected not neglected, forgiven not forsaken.
Refreshment through Reading God’s Word
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:7-8 NIV
In Scripture, God gives us the words and ways that soothe and strengthen our minds, bodies, hearts and souls. Through them we see Him, others and ourselves more clearly – and hopefully.
Refreshment through Responsible Giving
One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV
Giving isn’t only about financial resources; it involves investing in others with our time, compassion, encouragement, and other ways to let them know they are valued.
Refreshment through Godly Relationships
I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 1:6-7 NIV
Our shared faith creates a bond that allows us to encourage one another in ways of the heart. As we support and strengthen those connected to us, others see the love we share and the God we serve.
- What activity or experience refreshed you this summer?
- Do you find refreshment most in doing new things, visiting a different locale, time with family and friends, resting or reading? Something else?
- Think of one person you will make an effort to refresh in the Lord this week. Consider reaching out to someone not in your tight circle of family and friends.
- In which area are you feeling least/most refreshed right now? Physical? Mental? Emotional? Spiritual?
- What is one thing occupying your mind today that you are struggling to trust God to handle? Will you release it now?
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™