We are officially Pennsylvania residents!! It has been quite the journey to get to this place… lots of trusting, lots of waiting. The trek itself across the country was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Traveling 15+ hours everyday for 5 days straight with three of my kids (one of whom gets carsick)… Our first week or two at our new home, as my soul was recovering from the move, I felt pretty disconnected from God. I was exhausted and overwhelmed, trying to get everything unpacked, putting out fires between my four (amazing) kids, when this thought invaded my heart…
“Even if we feel far away, He is always close.”
God is one call, one cry, one turn, one step, one reach of the hand away. He’s always there.
I unpacked my iHome and filled my house with worship music. Song after song this week has been stirring my spirit.
“Come to the River” by Housefires sparked something in me. Part of the song says “I will taste and see that You are good, good to me.” I will taste and I will see… I have a choice. To open my heart and be filled by Him. To open my eyes and see Him. He is always there!
Will I receive His gift of grace? Daily? Moment by moment? Will I respond to the invitation to draw near to Him? Anytime? Will I prioritize my relationship with Him? Even if I don’t feel like it? Even if I have a million things to do? Will I remember that He’s always there, and He wants me to be with Him?
Last week at church we sang “Alive” by Hillsong Young & Free and this line jumped out at me: “Nothing can take Your place.” Immediately I had to reflect – is that true in my life? What is competing for my attention? Am I guarding my heart, those parts that should be reserved for Him alone? Do I believe that no thing should take His place in my life? They can certainly try to… the enemy will attempt to distract us… but nothing else can truly satisfy. Nothing can take His place.
Leeland’s song, “Refresh Me” came on Spotify and it stopped me mid-chore. “I lift my hands to You, I lift my heart to You, refresh me… I raise my weakness high, in it You’re glorified…” That I would be a little quicker to lift my hands, my heart, to Him. To lift my burdens and my weakness to Him and find my strength in Him – that He would get the glory in my wholeness as well as my brokenness.
That word refresh has stuck with me, so I dug a little deeper. 🙂
Webster’s defines refresh this way:
- to restore strength and animation to: revive
- to freshen up: renovate
- to restore or maintain by renewing supply: replenish
- to run water over or restore water to
- to update or renew, especially by sending a new signal
After our move from WA to PA, I discovered a deep need for refreshment from the Lord. I need Him to revive my weary spirit, to renovate the rooms of my crowded heart, to replenish my fading strength, to restore the water supply to my thirsty soul, to send a new signal to renew our relationship… to make me fresh again in Him.
“I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint.” – Jeremiah 31:25 (NET)
The Hebrew word for refresh in this verse is male’ (H4390), and it means “to fill, be full, abundance, to consecrate, fill the hand; to be filled, be armed, be satisfied; to fulfill, accomplish, complete, confirm.”
I need Him to fill me up again, that I would live and love from that place of being loved by Him. That those around me would experience the overflow of the Father’s heart. That I would have open hands for Him to fill, not holding on out of fear or in order to control, but to live freely according to His will and plan.
The phrase “times of refreshing” came to mind, which led me to this verse:
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” – Acts 3:19 (NASB)
Refreshing in this verse is the Greek word anapsyxis (G403) and it means “a cooling, refreshing… properly, a recovery of breath, i.e. (figuratively) revival.”
If you happened to read my blog in January, you know that “breathe” is my word for 2017. How fitting… this definition, this verse, this season to be refreshed by Him. After this last season of seeking Him and then being transplanted to a new location, I need to recover my breath.
I need this time of refreshing, and it really only comes from His presence, from spending quality time with the Lord. Turning from distractions and lies, sin and selfishness, turning from all those things to face Him, to fix my eyes on Him again. To call to mind all that He has taught me in the last 7 months, and to run with perseverance the race marked out for me.
To be made fresh again.