There’s a phrase in the English language that’s better than most things one can hear in life. I’m speaking, of course, of the statement: “There will be refreshments.”
What a sentence! It speaks of the skillful mixology of fruit punch and Sprite in a giant bowl ladled generously into your squat plastic cup. It speaks of lemon bars and Jello salad (hopefully sans suspended carrots). It speaks of chocolate mint brownies and skewered pickles wrapped in cream cheese and love and ham. And it speaks of fellowship, people gathering together for a common purpose, enjoying one another’s company. There will be refreshments.
Since every activity or special event is being canceled or moved into the virtual realm, we haven’t heard that phrase very much lately. And that’s a shame, because with this world being as crazy and hard as it is, I think we could all use refreshments right now. And I’m not just speaking of juice and tiny sandwiches. Aside from the physical and delicious, we need emotional and spiritual refreshment.
Are you weary? Weary of politics, weary of germs, weary of virtual school, weary of unemployment, weary of worry? I know I am. I’m worried about our employees and our customers. I’m weary of the strain this is putting our business under. I’m worried about the fact that I, a nerdy wordsmith, just ended a sentence with a preposition; that’s how you know I’m a little stressed out right now. I desperately need someone to say the words, “There will be refreshments.”
Everything seems so much more difficult and draining these days. Simple things seem to take so much energy. When we get too involved with the world, our hearts and our spirits plummet and we need to be refreshed. The word refreshing denotes any kind of rest or deliverance from evils or troubles of all types. It could be cool water to drink or dive into on a hot day. It could be a Saturday afternoon nap after a long week of work. It could be a belly laugh with a friend. But the greatest kind of refreshment? God.
God says the best words to us; he has promised that there will be refreshments . . .
In his Word
Going to God brings renewal and restoration. Even Jesus, when he walked among us on earth healing the sick and dealing with the sin-sick, became drained and world-weary. When Jesus needed refreshment, he turned to his Father in heaven. God is the ultimate refresher. “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Go to God. Go to his Word, where he has promised, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25). In his Word, there will be refreshments.
Even the apostle Paul, known for his speaking and writing skills, asked for prayers. He wrote in Romans 15:30-32, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe . . . so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.” Prayer refreshes our souls; we are refreshed with clearer views of our true nature as God’s children. So pray without ceasing. Pray with others. Pray for others. Ask others to pray for you. In prayer, there will be refreshments.
In his people
God has given us the gift of people. Find those people and those relationships that refresh you and give you energy. Be that sort of person for others. Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” As God’s people, we should be building each other up, especially in our current times. Politics and mandates and strong opinions threaten to divide us. It’s easy to distance ourselves from others right now, but that’s not what God wants. Paul urges us in Romans chapter 15: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement [read: refreshment] give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verses 5,6). And later, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (verse 13). In Christian fellowship and unity, there will be refreshments.
Dear Christians, all is not lost. We are weary, but God has not left us to thirst and starve here on earth. If you’re feeling pretty tired of this world, just remember that this world and this life are not all there is. Jesus suffered and died so that we can enjoy the ultimate refresh of our souls. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).
Heaven is our home, and you know what? There will be refreshments.