Heavy h’orderves and light refreshments will be served at the meeting. Now you got my attention!
I used to look forward to our local Chamber of Commerce Wednesday Friendsday meetings … not so much for the networking contacts I’d make, but for the h’orderves and adult beverages. Ha! While liquid refreshment is perfectly legal and socially permissible, I’d like to propose a better way to recharge oneself when feeling weary, burned out or just exhausted from too much work (or worry, whatever the case may be).
The Bible actually has plenty to say on this topic. Who knew that God was actually concerned that humans would need healthy strategies to refresh themselves? The first place refreshment is mentioned is seen in Genesis 18:5 … so and so fed them, they rested from their journey then got up proceeding on their way. From this passage alone we see that food and rest play integral roles in strengthening the body to carry on. Kind of an obvious point, but I was intrigued to find so many biblical references explaining how one may refresh oneself.
Today we use weekends to relax ourselves, primarily through exercise, athletics, boating, movie bingeing, couch potato-ing, shopping, drinking, socializing, dancing, eating out, concerts, etc. The list of recreation activities is endless. God, however, had our refreshment in mind thousands of years ago when He instituted the Sabbath (Exodus 23:12). The people were advised … on the 7th day you do not work so that …
We even see that in Exodus 31:17 – God Himself rested on the seventh day after working six days creating the heavens and earth. How could God get tired? Does sacred scripture lie? If God rested one day per week, maybe I should, too?
While food and physical rest from work help us regain strength and energy, the Bible also mentions the use of wine … wine is to refresh those who become exhausted in the wilderness (2 Samuel 16:2 NIV). I’m not advocating anything other than moderate use of wine due to the addictive nature of alcohol. I’m pointing out the fact it is included in both the old and new testaments as a cultural practice.
How should we as 21st century Christians refresh ourselves? Here are the 5 legal ways my headline promised you:
- Start by getting into God’s Word. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7). Notice the Word of God refreshes our SOUL? It doesn’t say spirit, so it is referring to our mind, will and emotions getting exhausted.
2. Get with God. This is not exactly the same as reading His Word. Think of getting with God as making a phone call to Him … not a text. A conversation where you talk awhile, unburdening yourself and then you be quiet. During your portion of the conversation, pull on the promises of Proverbs 11:25 … “a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed,” and Jeremiah 31:25 … “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Then sit in silence awhile, listening, preferably out in nature in you can. “He refreshes my soul,” Psalm 23:3 reminds us. I like to imagine His face, Jesus’s eyes smiling silently at me, yet speaking volumes. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” (Matthew 11:28 The MSG).
3. Confess and known sin that comes to mind. Most Christians practice this as a lifestyle, but in case you don’t, adopt this discipline until it becomes habitual. Habitual repentance, not habitual sin, duh (comic relief here)! We want to keep the pipeline of our hearts clear for the voice of the Holy Spirit to flow (see Acts 3:19).
4. Be a faithful friend, spouse, congregant, worker, parent, etc. When we are reliable for others to depend on, knowing they can count on us to come through in predictability refreshes them. Reliable friends who do what they say are ike cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing! (Proverbs 25:13 The MSG). What we sow into another’s life we reap, so sow faithfulness today and reap a harvest in days to come.
5. Visit a friend. Take responsibility for your own weariness, even if it came as the result of hard work. Don’t blame someone else for your over-exertion, even if that overtime was imposed. Take action to refresh yourself. Not a social media interaction, an actual social interaction (here’s looking at you, kid!). Friendship is a gift. I love these three verses on friendship:
… so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed (Romans 15:32 NIV).
… your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people (Philemon 1:7 NIV).
… I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ (Philemon 1:20).
Should all these fail, have a good meal with wine and go to bed.
Tell me, what works best in your recharge routine?