Hitting the F5 Key: When Your Life Needs Some Refreshing
by Dale Reeves
Yesterday our campus pastor Brad Wilson began a new teaching series entitled “Refresh.” That’s a term that all computer users are familiar with. Refreshing a page will cause it to update with the latest version of that page’s information. You can also fix some site errors, such as the ones encountered when a page doesn’t fully load, by refreshing. In virtually all browsers, pressing the F5 key will cause the current page to refresh. (On a Mac, you can assign the keyboard shortcut F5 to reload a page.) Just as a computer inputs, processes, stores, and outputs information, so do our human brains. The past four months during COVID-19 our brains have been working overtime as we’ve tried to take in all the information we hear, process it, decide what it means for us in terms of action steps, and then repeat the process all over again—often many times a day. It is no wonder that so many people feel stressed, on overload, like a bundle of nerves some days. Maybe it’s time to hit the “Refresh” key on your brain.
In times like this, we might say things like, “I just need a vacation,” or “I need a break,” or “When will this madness end?” And we may need something stronger than a caffeine fix, or a road trip somewhere—though those two things may certainly help. When you are feeling worn out and at the end of your rope, what is your go-to panacea? For some it is a certain comfort food, binge watching Netflix, or reverting to an all-familiar addiction. But our God wants your remedy to be him. Sounds simple, right? If it were that simple, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Several years ago David Crowder wrote a song called “Remedy” in which he sang:
“Here we are, here we are,
The broken and used,
Mistreated, abused, here we are.
Here You are, here You are,
The beautiful one who came like a Son
So we lift up our voices,
We open our hands
To cling to the love that we can’t comprehend.
He is the one who has saved us,
He is the one who embraced us,
He is the one who has come and is coming again,
He’s the remedy.
Here we are, here we are,
Bandaged and bruised, awaiting a cure,
Here we are.
Here You are, our beautiful King bringing relief,
Here You are with us.”
Our Need for Rest
Sometimes when we visit a doctor and we’re trying to find out why we’re not feeling so well, the doctor may not discover anything physically wrong, and he may just say, “I think it’s stress. You just need to get some good rest.”
According to physician Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., author of Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Renew Your Sanity, humans need seven kinds of rest: physical, mental, social, creative, emotional, spiritual, and sensory rest. She states, “People say, ‘I’m tired all the time, I’m drained,’ but if they’re waking up after sleep and still exhausted, the issue probably isn’t sleep. It’s likely a rest deficit.”
Long before the doctor wrote her book, God knew we needed rest. That’s why he created the Sabbath rest. We as a society don’t do the Sabbath very well. That’s one of the reasons why I think we’ve been so frustrated with our stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders. We don’t want anyone to tell us what we can’t do. We don’t want to be forced to be still. But during our down times, God promises us as he did his people Israel, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25, NIV).
Our Need for Renewal
None of us are perfect, none of us have escaped life unscathed, we’re all bandaged and bruised to one degree or another, riddled with scars and holes that we amass as we go about our lives. When God created humankind, he put in all of us the desire to have our God-shaped holes be satisfied by only him. At times, we need to stop doing something that is wrong (the Bible calls it sin), and we need to fill that void with something that honors God. The apostle Peter announced in Acts 3:19, “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus” (The Message).
What is it in your walk with God right now that needs refreshing and reviving? If you want to refresh your relationship with him, you have to be intentional. Is there something in your heart that has surfaced the past several months that you’ve noticed and you don’t like about yourself? Maybe you never really took notice of it before, but in all the time you have had to reflect this year, you can no longer ignore it. Our sins not only can keep us distant from God, they can also isolate us from others as well.
God wants us to seek to satisfy all our longings and thirsts in him. The sons of Korah, descendants of Levi the priest, declared,
“As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:1, 2, 11, ESV).
Thirsty? Need some refreshing? He’s waiting for you.