Tuesday, May 8, 2012

As We Refresh Others, We Are Refreshed

“He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed”
(Proverbs 11:25b).

There is a lovely home in my city that lifts my spirits each time I see it.  I drive by it intentionally because it makes me feel happy and refreshed just by looking at it.  It is separated from the street by a white wooden fence, and each summer this fence is covered with beautiful flowers.  The house is very neat and cozy-looking, giving the impression that anyone is welcome to stop by for a visit.

I also know a lovely, godly woman who reminds me of this house.  She is a delight to be around, and although I’m sure she has problems, the joy and refreshment of her presence is like those cheery flowers.  She is a model I would like to imitate. 

Living with pain can dampen my joy for life and even for the company of others at times.  My personality has also never been an outgoing one and tends to be more pessimistic than optimistic.  Yet God has the ability to enable me, and each of us, to refresh others.  He is not limited by our limitations.  Sometimes it may simply mean a kind word of blessing to a store clerk or an encouraging Facebook or email message.  Other times we may have the strength to minister to someone in greater depth.  Whatever refreshment we give though will yield returns to us as well. 

Interestingly enough, the King James Version of this verse says that he that waters shall also be watered.  When we willingly pour out the water of God’s encouragement and love to others – no matter how briefly - He revives our spirits and fills us with more of His life-giving water to give.

Even during the winter months the memory of those flowers at that house seems to linger, continuing to give a delightfully welcoming impression.  In the same way, during times when we have nothing to give, the memories we have given may linger and leave lasting impressions of blessings to others. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we are all Your vessels of refreshment to someone, somewhere, at some time.  Thank you that when we allow You to refresh others through us, we are in turn refreshed by You.  Amen.

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