“I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint.” (Jeremiah 31:25, New English Translation)
Life, and our busy schedules, can wear us down. We have so much to do, so many depending on us, and so little time to devote to our own needs. Eventually, this becomes an unhealthy situation. If we feel physically tired, we may also feel spiritually weary. When that happens, it’s time for us to slow down and allow God to refresh us. Perhaps this is what happened to Martha, the friend of Jesus who often welcomed Him and His disciples into her home.
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:41-42, NET).
Martha’s heart was in the right place, but her body could not keep up with the demands she made on herself. She needed to stop and take time to sit with her friend, Jesus. Her sister Mary had already figured this out.
A Spiritual Refreshing
So how can we find that refreshing we need? First, we need to take in before we have anything to give out. Our first step is to spend time sitting at the feet of Jesus.
- Fill your mind with Scripture. Set aside time each day for the Word of God. Even a few minutes of reading and meditating will fill your spirit with peace. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7, ESV).
- Make prayer and thanksgiving a daily habit. A thankful spirit is a good antidote for negative emotions and any discontent we may be feeling. “Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, NET).
- Ask God’s Forgiveness. Carrying a load of guilt for past sins or failures can weigh us down. Clear things between you and God (and anyone else you may need to seek forgiveness from). “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
A Physical Refreshing
Once we’ve given time to God, allowing Him to refresh our soul, we also need to consider the weariness of our physical bodies. The Lord understood this. We read of how He often secluded Himself to pray, and this spiritual retreat from the crowds was essential. But He also took time away to refresh His physical body. Mark 6:31-32 tells us of one such time.
“And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.”
It is important we take care of our own needs. This isn’t selfish; it’s essential to our health. Do whatever is most refreshing to you—walk in the park, drive in the country, soak in a soothing bubble bath, read a book, or have lunch (a healthy one of course) with a friend.
The people who share our lives refresh us—just as we refresh them. We do this by having a generous spirit (Proverbs 11:25), showing love and concern (Philemon 1:7), offering hospitality (I Peter 4:9), and looking out for each other (Philippians 2:4). We are all in this thing called life together. We need each other for strength, encouragement, and just a good, hearty laugh sometime. It’s refreshing!
Jesus Invites Us
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, NET).