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Times of Refreshing

I don’t mind telling you that I am from the south. I don’t mind telling you that I get a lump in my throat each time I hear “Sweet Home Alabama” on the radio. When I moved from Alabama to Texas a few years ago, I got a hard lesson in culture shock. There I was … just sitting at a restaurant on a hundred degree summer day with a dry, parched throat. The only item on the menu that I knew would bring satisfaction guaranteed was a fat, refreshing cup of good ol’ sweet tea and ice. Before the words “What can I get you to drink?” rolled off the waiter’s tongue, I spoke up, “I need a glass of sweet tea.”

The waiter stood there a moment as if I had asked for something strange like tofu, and then he answered, “We have sugar on the table.” I resisted giving the waiter a science lesson about how granulated substances such as sugar dissolve much easier in hot rather than cold liquids. That’s when I knew that although Texas was south, it wasn’t in the deep south. Thankfully, I have a wife who makes wonderfully refreshing sweet tea. In case you are not from the South, sweat tea (pronounced “sweetea&#148—one word—just like the pet name you might have for a spouse or child) is made by boiling water and tea bags, then serving it chilled over ice. The molecular structure of the solution actually changes so that there is no sugary residue in the bottom of the glass. It’s refreshing!

We may not do it the southern way, but most of us have figured out how to refresh our thirst somehow or another. We recognize the dryness in our throat, and we have no problem finding a beverage to quench it. But where do we go when our heart and our soul need to be refreshed. Sweet tea is good, but it’s not that good. Acts 3:11-26 records Peter’s second sermon after his heart had been invaded by the Holy Spirit. He proclaims in verse 19, 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.

Notice that with salvation comes not just the wiping away of sins (we typically focus on that wonderful aspect), but with this new life also come “times of refreshing.” I know I definitely need that! I have a hard time sitting still and resting. I have a difficult time just relaxing in the presence of the Lord, but apparently relaxation is not our only source of real refreshment. The other refreshment happens when we slow down from our busyness and ask our Father what His perspective is on the various issues of life that worry us. It happens when we allow the words that He has spoken to us to soak into our hearts and become so much a part of us that we are at peace. We are refreshed.

Sit still and allow God to refresh you. If you’re a busy, busy, go, go, go type person like me, you will find this incredibly difficult at first. But after you have allowed your Father to refresh you, you’ll never let yourself be thirsty again. Jesus said in John 7:38, He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’. I checked an alternate translation, and Jesus really did say “living water” and not sweet tea.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.