REFRESHING THE WEARY
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
Ever wondered why you feel more drained when you experience setbacks and/or people are letting you down? There is a little discussed connection between what we feel and how it makes us feel. Rather than being thanked for our efforts we are criticized causing us to feel hurt and leading to us feeling physically drained. Someone makes a mistake and looks to you for help and while you're helping them get out of their mess they do it again ... and again ... and you soon feel tired ... drained. But this connection between what we feel (emotionally) and how we feel (physically) goes two ways. Our physical energy levels are bolstered by positive emotional experiences.
Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
Your soul facilitates your mind, your 'heart', your drive. Today we have a growing phenomena in the West. People are feeling increasingly weak and weary. This has given rise to growth the modern 'gym' ('fitness centres', 'work-out stations') industry. Yet people still feel weary. Perhaps it's because in the West we generally take such little regard for our soul. When your soul is well nourished and refreshed through God's Word, your soul is restored.
He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
Psalm 23:2 NETHe restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Psalm 23:3 ESV
Church is a 'gym' for the soul, a 'fitness centre' for your spirit. It is in the assembling of the church that the believer joins in worship. This act of devotion is refreshing to the soul. We live in a world where individuality is prized. This can be healthy. But the way it is practised in the West, it is rarely good for our souls. It fosters self-centredness, selfishness, and hyper-introspection. These things are spiritually carcinogenic!
HOW TO BE REFRESHED
Your soul longs for strength. The Bible reveals that strength for the weary comes from encouraging words, encouraging company, and encouraging others. Your soul is designed to be nourished by those things which God has designed to enrich it. This includes not only His life-giving Word, but good literature, beautiful music, beatiful art, harnessed nature, and periods of rest. At the height of his ministry, Dr. F.W. Boreham would go to the National Gallery of Victoria and sit for hours in front of particular paintings and be refreshed by them. He often shared why he was so refreshed by particular paintings in many of his essays.
¶ So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.
It's possible to be refreshed even in the midst of deep distress. In Acts 9, the Church was experiencing persecution and distress, yet it was refreshed bywalking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. In actual fact, the best time to be refreshed (have your soul nourished, rested and restored) is in the midst of distress!
In Daniel 7:25 (NLT), it predicts that the Enemy would attempt to "wear down the saints". What a devilish strategy. One of the most predictable strategies of our Enemy is to wear people down and have them think that it is purely physical tiredness. But what a glorious solution and preventatitve cure the Lord has provided: be refreshed in God. This is why one of the sweetest and surest ways to be refreshed in your soul and thus (somewhat) revitalised physically is to take up Christ's offer-
¶ Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."