The Time Of Refreshing
Reading Time: 3 minutes
“At sunset he stopped for the night and went to sleep, resting his head on a large rock.” (Gen 28:11, C.E.V.)
A reflection on the present always reflects in the past and to the future, at the same time. As we finish another week, and prepare for our respective Church services, we tend to reflect upon what we have done and where we have been.
Often we wonder why we see no method to the fast-paced troubles and trials that have just happened to us all to us all. I have looked back on this past week and thought, “Why on earth did this, or that, ever happen? It doesn’t even make sense.”
I noticed in this text how Jacob came to “a certain place;” and stayed there all night “because the sun had set.” No mattress, no covers, and a rock for a pillow. He must have wondered what is going on and why God had led him there, and, apparently “left” him in such a place to sleep for the night. It is quite likely that Jacob had intended to try to reach the city of Luz that day, but because the sun had set, he ran out of time, and had to stay put for the night. With the dark of night coming on, it could have been quite dangerous for him to try to reach the city then. I can imagine that Jacob was worried about the big city being too dangerous at night.
Similar to Jacob’s experience, I walked into a few places this past week where I was thinking maybe I had run out of time, maybe some issues had gone unanswered, and had left me in tatters; yet, when I have these times of refreshing, the thought crosses my mind that another week is promised each Sabbath. This week, like the setting sun is indeed ebbing away, yet reflected in the beauty and colours of this autumn sunset, the new week will arise, with a chance to do things differently; and maybe even better.
I find myself wanting to praise the Lord for the Light, and the colour that He puts into my life. Sometimes it is through the people He sets in my path, sometimes He communicates the assurance I need through what He has created, like the sunset, which is so beautiful this time of the year. I intend to enter this Sabbath rest, praising God for the answers He has given me, and for the moments of Light, and colours He has gifted me with, and for “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19) Earlier today I had a friend tell me that they really enjoyed talking with me. That was my beautiful “sunset” today. That was one of those “times of refreshing” for me. And as I watched the setting sun tonight, I could feel God’s presence.
Jacob had a very uncomfortable place to sleep that night, not unlike many of us at various points in our life. As the text reveals, God had Jacob stay there for a good reason. Jacob had the stones for his pillows and the heavens for his canopy; no heat, very much exposed to the elements; and yet, the hardship of this night seemed to make him forget that he was fleeing for his life from his own brother. The dream he had in verse 12 reflects the amazing assurance Jacob had in divine protection.
I can see myself, climbing Jacob’s ladder. I believe God has good reason for whatever I have experienced and where I have had to be during this past week. I do not really know what that reason is right now, but it does not matter. The “times of refreshing” have helped me through it all.
No matter where you end up having to lay your head for the night, it is my prayer that each of my family and friends experience this kind of “refreshing” not only this Sabbath; but next week as well.
There is a reason we are called “Human Beings,” rather than “Human Doings.”
“It is not what you have or what you do,
which directly affects your worth:
It’s what you are inside that’s true…
that reveals the salt of the earth.”
– David T Battler
Everyone is born with their own, special purpose. Forget about all the canned systems you see on the Internet or on TV for how to be successful. You already have a purpose, and if you are already born with it, how can you put it in, if it’s already there? You can do anything that you want to; if it’s aligned to your purpose which God has written on your heart.