By Nancy Smith
The ladies at my church recently held a day retreat to come together and share some hard things as well as how God has worked throughout the past year and a half. Now that restrictions have been lifted here in Massachusetts, it felt so good to be with sisters face to face. I am an extrovert and love to chat with people, and I didn’t realize how much the “COVID rules” affected me until after our retreat. My soul needed this time of spiritual refreshment – the fun, food, laughter, prayer, singing, and reconnecting with friends.
In 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19, we read about the prophet Elijah having a showdown between God and the prophets of Baal. In a nutshell, God won and the false prophets wereall killed. Now the wicked King Ahab and his evil wife, Jezebel, are furious. Elijah is disillusioned and depressed. Burned out and very afraid, he runs to the wilderness, where God provides a nap and some food. Refreshment. God had another assignment for him, but first he needed some physical and spiritual fortification.
The word refresh means “to give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate.” With technology we refresh our devices – we restore their settings and clean out clutter so they function better. We need to refresh and restore our souls so we function better. Everyone around me is looking forward to having vacations or family reunions, but now that we are freer to enjoy life “as we think it should be,” how will you refresh your soul? We dare not jump back on the hamster wheel of life.
Here are 10 of my favorite suggestions to refresh your soul that I gathered from the internet.
1. Get outside and enjoy some vitamin sunshine – God’s feel-good medicine.
2. Now that we can (with consideration of others’ feelings), give your family and best buddies a huge hug.
3. Cut out the background noise and the distractions, including the phone.
4. Put some uplifting music on.
5. Take a walk and stretch your body.
6. Read a good book and get lost in the words.
7. Take time for your hobby or try something new. Being creative feels good.
8. Pamper yourself.
9. Check your attitude! Have you allowed negative or false thoughts to invade your soul? Ask God to forgive and cleanse your heart and mind.
10. Make a list of things you are grateful for.
For a season of spiritual refreshing, get your soul into a place where you can receive God’s peace and renewal. Spend time reading scripture, calm your spirit, and pray.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19-20
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. … Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalms 51:10,12
… they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like
eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Is it time for some spiritual refreshment? Here is God’s promise to us:
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish. Jeremiah 31:25
Nancy Smith has a passion for sharing God’s word and encouraging others to grow in their faith. Through her blog and speaking ministry, “Securely Anchored,” she brings scripture to life and encourages others to seek and live out God’s truth. Nancy is a retired operating room nurse and lives in Stoughton, MA, with her husband of 38 years. She loves crafts, music, and a good cup of coffee. You can find her online at securelyanchored.net.