“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…”
When you think of refreshing, what do you envision? If I were to close my eyes and envision a refreshing, I’d picture relaxing in the sun with a good book and an iced green tea by my side. I would have nowhere to be and no one to be responsible for.
Yet as I read the above verses in Acts, I noticed a key phrase following the word “refreshing” that provides a different picture: from the presence of the Lord.
Times of refreshing in God’s kingdom may not match up to our human perceptions. The key to refreshing in God’s kingdom focuses on His presence, not on our circumstances.
Think about it for a moment. If you would have read my blog posts in 2015, you would have hardly called my circumstances as times of refreshing. My life was turned upside down. I embarked on a personal journey to healing which entailed spiritual and emotional open heart surgery. This surgery included an almost move to another state, the loss of a job I had held dear, and being forced to relive an adult version of a middle school trauma. Anyone looking from the outside in would not have viewed 2015 as a year of refreshing for me.
But I do. At least now I do. Yes, that year was horrible. It was heartbreaking and a struggle. But it changed me. It forever altered my relationship with God; it refreshed it. His presence was nearer to me than ever before as I walked that difficult journey. Through the temporary pain of hardship, I gained a closeness with God that will carry me through the rest of my life. I was refreshed through God’s presence despite of and I dare say because of the circumstances. The pain didn’t refresh me, but His presence did.
Times of refreshing don’t come from where we live, where we work, or who we know. Times of refreshing aren’t indicative of a life of ease. Oftentimes they are the result of struggles, of the need to press in to God. Refreshing comes from the Lord. More specifically, refreshing comes from His presence.
So I ask you, are you in times of refreshing today? Is God’s presence restoring your soul? Whether your life feels like a walk along the beach or a journey through a battlefield, God’s presence is more than able to refresh you. If you let Him. If you seek Him.
So seek God today. Spend time in His Word. Spend time in prayer. Spend time in worship. Fellowship with other believers. Allow God to fill you with His strength, His joy, and His presence. And you’ll find that whether you journey through a feast or a famine on this earth, God’s presence will not only be with you, His presence will refresh your soul.
“The law of the Lord is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul…”