So that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. Romans 15:32
The word ‘refresh’ is found 17 times in scripture. In most of them, the spirit of one person is being refreshed in the company of another. This got me thinking. What really happens when I am refreshed? Who is it that refreshes me? And most importantly, am I a person who refreshes others? Do I leave them feeling stronger or weaker?
I jotted down names of people who refresh me when I’m in desperate need of it. What is it about each one? Each is:
- Someone who is deeply at rest in the Lord.
- Someone who is permanently unshaken by life.
- Someone who has had their needs met in Christ and can listen well without self-distraction.
- Someone whose heart is full of the scriptures and it comes out of their mouth at just the right time.
- Someone who inspires faith, not blind optimism.
- Someone who whispers courage based on God’s presence and promises.
- Someone who prays for me, by name, with intuition and discernment.
I know it’s possible to be refreshed by someone who is kind and positive. Perhaps they’re not even a believer but their personality and attitude toward life are contagious. But, when I need more than a pep-talk and someone to speak God’s words into my life for perspective and strength, I won’t get it from them. Without Christ, there is no foundation to their strength. Their encouragement has no substance even though their personal fortitude is admirable.
Paul knew that if He went to Rome to be with the Roman believers, he would be refreshed. Weariness and discouragement would be replaced by hope and renewal. If I don’t have others in my life who refresh me, I need to ask God why and possibly make changes about those with whom I fellowship. Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs ~ so important was the spiritual refreshment that happens between two people who love Jesus.
Make me more like the ones on my list, Jesus. Amen