Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Times of Refreshing

Recently I looked up the meaning of "refreshing" because I realized that I have thought about, referred to, and used that word so much over the last few months in different contexts.  The meaning was what I thought it to be, and the definition I liked best said:  agreeably stimulating because of freshness or newness 'a refreshing change of pace'.  I really like that!  And, I think that we need that in our lives, don't you?  It seems that nothing good can come from the same old, same old.  In fact, if we don't change it up a bit, I think life has a special way of changing it up for us!

Well I have certainly felt a sense of refreshing over my life in different ways over the past few months.  This is not to say that there have not been unwelcome circumstances or speed bumps, because there have, but there has been so much come into my life that has been refreshing, and I am grateful!

Most often, I think that refreshing comes from following that still, small voice of God in our lives.  Do you know He speaks to us?  In so many different ways He does.  But He doesn't shout or pester to get our attention...as my children do more times than I care to remember.  He is gentle.  He is strong indeed.  But He deals with the important issues in our lives with such love and patience.  He embodies love and patience.  I so long to learn to be like Him in this way.  Let my heart be changed to be more like yours, God!  Through love, patience, and gentleness He speaks to us.  He prompts us.  He reminds us.  He encourages us.  He gives ideas.  Those thoughts that just don't go away about an idea or inspiration:  that's God's voice in your life.  Refreshing comes when we follow!  Times of refreshing await as we begin the walk of true and ultimate obedience, whatever the cost.  

Oftentimes the cost is what scares us the most.  This is where we hesitate.  We are all about self-preservation (selfishness) just as our children are, actually.  We don't want to move or go in a direction that we know will cost us...in some way.  But, as we obey and head in the direction that He encourages us to walk, we begin to step into times of refreshing.  We may not see or feel them right away...but they will come.  

Each of us has a different road to travel.  A different path to walk.  The beauty is in trusting that God has made no mistakes in the road He has chosen for you.  Trust says that I'm willing to go through the icky and the ugly to come closer to Him.  To come closer to what He has for my life.  Only in the icky and the ugly can we learn to trust.  And, when we really begin to trust--without hesitation and without reservation--we experience refreshing.  We experience a freshness or a newness!  We experience this because God provides us with these times.  He loves to do a new thing in our lives.  He loves to change the pace in our lives. This doesn't mean that He changes because truly, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  But He does love newness and freshness.  I am realizing that He delights in seeing us refreshed as we allow Him to move and create newness in our lives and in our life's journey.  

I am thankful for the times of refreshing I have been experiencing.  Grateful is the other word I've heard myself saying.  That's more accurate.  I am truly grateful.  Not just grateful for the refreshing times, but I am grateful because I know, without a doubt, that the times of refreshing have come into my life as a result of trust and obedience.  And, I can take no credit for that.  He has been too patient with me.  He has been so good and gentle toward me.  So, if you find yourself yearning for times of refreshing...if you feel tears well in your eyes because that is the prayer and cry of your heart...  Listen for Him.  Be still and quiet before Him.  Even for a few moments of your day.  Be still.  Ask Him to speak to you.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  Ask Him to show you the plans that He has for you.  He will.  He hears us and He longs for us to seek Him.  God will speak into your life.  He will direct your path.  He will make it clear.  It might take a while for you to see it clearly, but it won't be long before you see the next few steps in front of you clearly.  And when you do, walk in obedience.  Without hesitation, trust Him.  And as you trust in God, those times of refreshing will begin to come.