Ps 68.9 When your land was thirsty, you sent showers to refresh it.
Our lawn had gone very brown after the hot, dry weather, but with rain over last weekend, and most of this week, it has turned a lovely green again. It is the same with the fields we see from our kitchen window. The lovely Sussex beef cattle are now grazing green grass. Rain refreshes the land. It is as if the ground cries out for water when it gets too dry. I remember from my school days singing a line in one of the harvest hymns, ‘We Plough the Fields’. It went ‘the breezes and the sunshine and soft refreshing rain’. The chorus goes on ‘all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, then thank the Lord O thank the Lord, for all his love.’
It is quite easy in our lives to become busy just doing ‘stuff’. We can become dry or just weary and we need refreshment. Stopping and resting is often a way of being refreshed, but not always possible. Paul in his letter to Philemon asked for a favour so he would be refreshed. Philemon 1.20 ‘Yes brother, do this favour for the Lord’s sake. Refresh my heart’. He was asked Philemon to receive back Epaphroditus, his runaway slave and forgive him. We can refresh one another with kind actions.
Last night I got home after spending a day in Swindon and Faringdon, seeing people in their gardens or conservatories. I came home refreshed. I had enjoyed tea and biscuits, chilli and rolls, lamb with tomatoes and olive sauce, as well as rhubarb cupcakes. I had been given sticks of rhubarb and large spinach leaves from someone’s garden. I had talked, shared stories and reasons to be thankful, and prayed with each person. I had seen and had communion with friends from Swindon Community Church. I came home thoroughly refreshed, lifted and encouraged.
It was my aim to refresh others, but I was on the receiving end of refreshment even more. Our small actions and kindness can act like the verse of the psalm we started with. We can be soft refreshing rain, like those friends from Swindon were, to the people we meet and interact with. Let’s take action today to refresh someone!