How to Enter Times of Refreshing

woman looking at blue sky
God promises times of refreshing. Yet finding that moment can be a challenge in our hectic schedules. (http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

Sometimes, opportunities for relaxation pop up at the most unexpected times.

Take, for example, a recent Sunday morning. Our church has two morning services, of which we attend the second (there's no way in the world we could get everybody up and to church by 8:00). On the first Sunday of every month, after the second service, there is either a light lunch or some finger foods served so parishioners can enjoy food and fellowship.

Our family was sitting together at one particular table. I don't remember whom I was talking to, but I wasn't looking in Jessica's direction. Not, that is, until I heard her say, "Mommy, look at me!"

I looked, and Jessica was leaning back in her chair, a blissful smile on her face. A cucumber slice rested on each closed eyelid.

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Clearly, Jessica had been visiting the vegetable tray. Equally obviously, she somehow knew what goes on at luxury spas. (Must be all the times I've gone to one, come home, and told her about it. Yeah, right....)

I laughed, and then I took her picture. I thought it was adorable. Maybe it wasn't the kind of refreshment our church had in mind to provide (and it probably wasn't what the kitchen staff thought people would do with the cucumber slices, either), but it was refreshing indeed.

You know, God promises us that He will grant us times of refreshing. Maybe sometimes these will involve actual spas, warm bubble baths or some other kind of physical relaxation. Maybe we'll get to go to lunch with a friend, or even—gasp!—go to the grocery store without children in tow!

I don't know exactly what our times of refreshment will look like from day to day, but I do know this—there will be opportunities to receive the Lord's refreshment every single day. I can't guarantee it will involve cucumbers, but I can guarantee it will involve something even better.

How do I know? Because we have the opportunity to be with God every single day, and being in His presence is the ultimate refreshment—spiritually, emotionally and even physically.

God is ready and willing—eager, even!—to meet with us any day, all day. The only thing we have to do to be in instant communion with Him is to lift up our hearts and minds toward Him. We can do this any time, anywhere—publicly or privately, planned or spontaneous, visibly or in our hearts only. God doesn't demand that we spend hours at a time with Him in order to experience the refreshment of His presence. (Good thing too because otherwise, very few of us would ever get there.) He can and does begin to refresh our souls instantly, the moment we reach out to Him. Of course, He can also strengthen and refresh us at any moment, whether we're in conscious communion with Him or not, but I believe that there is a special refreshment that comes when we seek Him purposely.

Are you stressed out with holiday preparations? Are you frustrated with your children's behavior? Are you overwhelmed with, well, life? Then you need refreshment.

Fortunately, it's as close as He who lives inside your heart.

Acts 3:19 says, "Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."

Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books.) She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.

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