Time of Refreshing
2020 has certainly been a lion of a year. We have been bombarded with a myriad of issues that has caused many of us to get sucked into a whirlwind of emotions. There have been few simple answers and much debate. Verbal fires between friends and family have singed relationships and pandemic quarantining had us feeling isolated and alone. In this latter half of the year, face-to-face gatherings are few and far between and written thoughts in texts and emails can leave out tone and heart so assumptions are made, and conclusions are jumped to, and long-lasting relationships suffer.
Unfortunately, our feelings can overtake us and we forget that we are all made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We forget that every single one of us is loved and created on purpose by Someone who cares deeply for us all – the kind and the unlovable. The problems of the moment can hide the call that we had previously answered: “love you neighbor…” (Mark 12:31).
We grow tired of extending grace and weary of forgiving. We try to control situations that are not ours to control and are left feeling defeated and angry. Loving neighbor has changed its meaning to “convince your neighbor to see life as you do and, if they don’t, they are no longer important.” Though it may be seen as an act of devotion, too often this leaves people feeling dry, withered, and exhausted.
Isaiah 40: 31 (NASB)
“Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
“Wait for the Lord…” NASB
“Trust in the Lord…” NIV
“Hope in the Lord…” CEB
These slightly different translations have a common thread – they ask us to partner or join together with a God who is trustworthy. He is approachable and we can get to know His heart by spending time soaking in His refreshing Spirit. Remember that He supplies all our needs and that nothing is outside of His control - nothing. When we allow ourselves to be surrounded by Goodness and Love, and take the time to rest with Him, we are better able to focus on those good things. We are better able to allow His peace and comfort to help guide our relationships and love those He loves. And the more we learn who our God is, the more we will “run and not get tired… walk and not become weary” in extending grace and mercy to everyone around us.
The world doesn’t need more division. It needs more love. Be the refreshing rain that nourishes a neighbor. Share the love that will lift someone from the weight of sadness and despair. Live out the hope that propels us forward to a life of joy and peace. Soak in God’s love and let it strengthen you to do great things for His people.