Well, tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will be boarding a plane Florida bound. I am very much looking forward to it. Looking forward to seeing green grass, smelling the ocean air, putting my toes in the sand, WEARING MY FLIP FLOPS!!!, sitting by the pool or by the ocean. All sounds so good, doesn't it?? It's been a long, hard winter.
But what I'm most looking forward to is unplugging from the responsibilities of life for a time, working on my book, and spending quiet time with the Lord with no time constraints!!
I'm looking forward to just sitting still in His presence with nothing more to think about than His love for me!
I'm looking forward to a time of refreshing!
"....when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;"
We all need our batteries recharged from time to time, and while I don't believe it's necessary to go away for that to happen, I think it sure helps!
We get so entangled with the cares of life from day to day, that I believe it's necessary to pull away every once in awhile to reflect on what really matters and experience true communion with the Lord. Jesus was our example of that. He regularly took time from the crowds of people seeking Him to steal away to be with His Father. He even left His disciples behind most of the time. If Jesus needed that time away, how much more do we??
On a daily basis, there are so many things that pull at us - family issues, work, errands to run, a house to keep clean, kids to take care of, car pools, social activities, etc, etc, etc. Even Jesus had demands made upon Him. People were seeking Him for healing or because they were curious. And then there were others who sought Him out because they wanted to catch Him in some travesty so they could "get Him out of Dodge!"
In other words, daily pressures are normal and a part of life, but when we allow them to entangle us and trap us, consistently keeping us from the Lord, then we have a problem.
Oswald Chambers said it like this:
"Solitude with God repairs the damage done by the fret and noise and clamour of the world."
And damage it is for sure; sometimes so severe, we don't even realize we are damaged. The fret, noise and clamour of this world robs our hearts of rest and peace. We find ourselves marching to the beat of the world instead of the beat of Jesus' heart. We lose sight of the things that truly matter.
A few days ago, I was walking on the indoor track of a local gym trying to get my 3 miles in. As I rounded a corner of the track, I saw two women up ahead, one lagging behind the other. The one behind was talking, almost hollering to the other one. As I got closer to them, I realized the slower women was mentally retarded (I'm sorry, I know no other way to express it; I don't know the "politically correct" term to use. I'll refer to her from now on as the lady in red.) Anyway, she was asking the other woman where she got her shorts. The other woman was being very kind to her, but I could tell that she was anxious to get moving and on her way. I passed by both of them as they continued their conversation. As the other woman got further away, the woman in red was still hollering after her. As I continued to do my laps, there were several men running on the track and a few women, too. We all continued to circle the track. As I approached the woman in red, she said "Hi" to me and I responded in kind. She then asked me what my name was and I told her and she said it was nice to meet me. I smiled and continued my fast walk. As men and women alike continued to whiz by her, she never failed to call out 'Hi" to each one and tried to strike up a conversation. But we were all too busy trying to get "our laps" in at the gym.
I reflected on that for several days after and thought that is pretty indicative of our lives. We go "round and round the merry-go-round" with our chores, errands, business, activities, etc and at the end of the day, what do we have to show for it? We may have run "3 laps around the track", but did we touch anyone's life or did we allow anyone to touch ours?
Aren't relationships more important than all of our tasks that have to be done on any given day? A friend asked me the other day if I had any time after church to speak to her? I replied just a few minutes because I have an appointment for my car. She said okay and when we sat down to chat, it turned out she wanted to ask my forgiveness for something and to mend what she felt was a rift in our relationship. How humbled I was! Did I not have more than a few minutes to mend a broken relationship?
What if Jesus didn't give us that time?
I am constantly challenged and reprimanded by the Lord that relationship is so much more important than any task I might need to do.
And the first relationship that needs to be constantly attended to is my relationship with Him. And now here I am, back at setting that time aside that those times of refreshing could flow freely to me.
How anxious I am to just be with Him!
I will pray for you as I sit with Him, that even if you can't geographically get away, that you will be able to "get away" with Him in some other way.
Take the time.
You will never live to regret it!
May times of refreshing fall upon you in wave after wave.
May you experience cleansing and renewal in the Spirit just as you feel relief and renewal when Spring arrives after a long hard winter.