You have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people… refresh my heart in Christ… Come away and be refreshed… Come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will refresh you… (From the New Testament: Philemon, Matthew, Mark)

Hungry tourists are drawn to small kiosks because of a sign overhead: REFRESHMENT STAND. Perhaps they’re weary from hiking or hot from sun on the beach, or maybe just seeking diversion, but the food and drinks offered seem to call for immediate consumption. Unfortunately, most items on the menu—while tasty on the tongue—offer only temporary satisfaction and it isn’t long before customer’s line up for just one more ice cream cone or one more tangy drink.

The Apostle Paul wrote that his friend, Philemon, had refreshed Paul’s heart as well as the hearts of many others. Jesus told his friends that if they came away to a quiet place they would be refreshed, and He promises to refresh all those weighed down by the burdens of life. The word used means to cause to soothe or to calm and while Jesus offers it, it is also a gift we can give to each other.

I meet regularly with two friends who offer this gift. Neither is my mentor or guide or counselor…just friends. (Or perhaps they are all that as friends??) Time flies as I sit with one over coffee, sometimes relating family experiences, or sharing how recent time with Jesus has been uplifting. (Or convicting!) Another friend and I meet weekly for prayer. Our “prayer” frequently consists of conversation with each other and with our Father as we invite Him into the hour. Sometimes we weep for and over God’s people; other times our praise rings loud; often we plead for a new work of God’s Spirit. And I come away from both experiences, with two very different friends, refreshed…calmed, soothed, given rest. Refreshment that lasts.

Gentle Savior, thank you for not only offering refreshment from yourself, but allowing us the privilege of sharing it with each other. Help me be alert for those around me who need the words and actions that calm and soothe.

By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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