“For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” ~Philemon 7
Are the hearts of others refreshed through me? Are my children’s hearts refreshed through me or wearied, discouraged, or left feeling dry? Is there joy and comfort in my love to my husband or friends?
Do you ever feel used up, weary and dry yourself? I do. I read this passage and am convicted. When I am weary, where do I turn? I am quick to turn to activities that feed or fill up my flesh, that are easy and what I deem restful. So instead of running to the banks of the only river that satisfies, the only stream that quenches thirst and brings strength, I will turn to the dribbles of entertainment, sleep, or solitude. They will never satisfy like He does; they will never strengthen, calm, teach, or reveal truth the way He does. And as a result of sipping the drips of this world, I have nothing to pour out on my little ones or anyone else. Because I know enough Sunday school answers, I may be able to fake it awhile, but I am dry. And I know it.
But the truth of the Gospel is this: we are given the Holy Spirit who is the essence of living water, flowing in us and through us. In John 7:38-39, Jesus shows us that these Spirit driven rivers of living water are available to us as believers. Water runs with power to move things in its path and transform landscapes. It brings life because very little can grow in drought-like conditions. It soaks through hard ground and softens soil for new growth.
Acts 3:20 That times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Refreshment only comes through time with Him. So until I purpose to pursue the one drink that satisfies, my love will be shallow. Until I choose like Mary in Luke 10:39 to sit with Jesus and learn from His word, then I am simply operating on fumes and flesh. I have found that I need to sit at his feet early in the morning. For the last 18 years of raising babies, I have wished that I could sleep at least as long as my little ones. I have tried to place my time with Him inside of nap time or room time. I have whined about the fatigue of sleepless nights and early morning wake up calls, but for me Psalm 90:14 rings true. “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” I am so easily taken off course in the craziness of the toddler/teenager drama, schedules that require herculean effort, or emergencies. All of which have been known to hit before 7am.
But sitting with Him before anything happens allows me to return to Him quickly when all chaos erupts. And I find His love to give, His grace to extend, His wisdom to apply. And the Spirit flows through me to others. Most people are running on empty. They are tired, fearful, wounded, and desperate for peace. We hold the Gospel. We hold hope. We hold true refreshment.