I was looking in an old journal and found this statement that God had said to me: ‘There are refreshing things coming!’
At the time, I’d been sitting at the piano, and as I recall those words now, I appreciate how music is one way that God refreshes us. It flows over our weary spirits; it revives our souls. Today I was meditating on this again. Why did God tell me? and ‘Did it come to pass?’
One summer, my brother-in-law brought his family on holidays. I’d made a cake and he was amused when I said, ‘Don’t worry if it’s not finished, and goes stale, I’ll make a trifle out of it’.
When we need refreshing, it’s the stale things in our lives that need it. How do we tell if something is stale? It can’t be used for it’s original purpose. But burnt cake can be pared back, and some people like to eat burnt biscuits! You’ve probably heard the myth of the resourceful apprentice who left the bakery so he could watch something happening in the street. Look it up and see how biscuits (meaning ‘twice-baked’ – from the Latin, bis cotus), might have originated!
God uses leftovers, but he imbues them with fresh potential. That’s why he’s given us hope. It’s one of the abiding things, along with faith and love. When I’m feeling stale and dry, drained of my usual resources, I can be sure God will raid his store of refreshing ones to revive me. If I sense I’ve become hardened and discouraged about my use, he’ll soften me with his replenishing moisturisers, just like jelly and soft fruit in a trifle! Then he’ll put me to good use to refresh other people.
These provisions might include an encouraging call from a friend, or a word that I’ve mislaid in the Bible, such as Psalm 23 where we find refreshment mentioned. God might even take something I wouldn’t accept in more happy times, and show me how innovative he is! The refreshing might even come from an enemy!
The Bible is full of words about refreshing, reviving, and replenishing. God told many prophets to pass on this message to his people:
Jeremiah 31:25 ~ I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls – The Message Bible
Isaiah 44:3 ~ I will give you abundant water for your thirst and for your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children ~ The Living Bible
Paul: 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new ~ J B Phillips
While our land lies hardened and black from raging bushfires, and people reel from the disastrous horrors, God wants to revive and refresh those who are mourning. These fires have ravaged our country, leaving it seared and empty like the way we sometimes feel when we’re stale. That’s the time when God’s people should be willing refreshers. Perhaps we ourselves have become hardened to his refreshing? Have you ever put dry old scones in a microwave oven for a few seconds, then used the soft results for afternoon tea? People might think they’re the leftovers, but God can take them and use them differently, like stale cake in a delicious trifle!
So what about the fulfilment of the promise from God? Yes, it happened. All over the world, the Holy Spirit swept through the church with holy laughter and changed lives. Who can deny the refreshing benefits of a good laugh!
Let’s believe God’s promise and receive his refreshing – for ourselves, and others.