Find Joy in His Refreshing Presence

Psalm 63:1b NLT “My soul thirsts for you; my whole being longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.”

Does your life sometimes feel like a parched and weary land?

I am learning to make some changes in life to create spaces to be refreshed.  I am learning that I need an Oasis of refreshing. I need to go to the Well. I need to recognize what the thirst of my soul is really for. I am able to find true joy drinking there.

The things that I seek are not really what my thirst is about. My thirst does not get quenched by them.

•My thirst is not for more satisfaction of others.

•My thirst is not for accomplishing more.

•My thirst is not for getting something like a tangible reward.

Although I do desire each of these at times. The bottom line is that I am thirsty for the Living God, for what He can give me. I thirst for His presence and the refreshment I find in that. But in my humanness, I often overlook the truth of this and I get pulled into thinking I can quench my thirst with other things. It never works.

Recognizing the real thirst within leads me to the only One who can refresh me. But, recognizing this is only half of it. Once I recognize my real need, I need to make my way on the path to Him. In fact, I am realizing, I need to seek the oasis of His refreshing before I am parched.

I am realizing that I need a deep drink when:

• I am constantly striving.

• I am seeking human recognition or accolades more than God’s glory.

• I feel little to no joy within, and no praises are pouring from my lips.

• I keep reaching to fill my emptiness and come up empty every time.

• I am grumbling and complaining at every turn.

• I can only find negative responses to everything life asks.

• I feel oppressed by all that is happening in this world, really forgetting Who is in control.

So, what can I do?

I must find refreshing in His presence.

Acts 3:19 NIV says:”Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

The first thing I must do is to come with a heart of repentance, confessing my sin of “adultery” or “idolatry”. They end up being the same thing. I sin when I seek other waters to quench my thirst (See Jeremiah 2:13). After I have repented, then I am ready to seek His presence, and to find times of refreshing.

I find this refreshing in:

• Praying Scripture. I love reading and praying the verses of the Bible. Currently, I am personalizing the book of James chapter by chapter and praying it back to the Lord. There is so much I find to repent for, so much I need to ask Him to give me, and so many ways I desire to grow. It is wonderful.

Asking the Lord to give me a picture of His love. (For example, an example of His love is a picture in my mind of being safe, sheltered, and loved beneath the shadow of His wing.)

Coming to Him little, fragile, in real desperation, in my true needy state, (not with masks of pride, attainment, self-confidence or others) and pouring out my heart. Being little helps me to know more of His love and tenderness for me. I remember singing “I am Jesus little lamb”as a child. I still am, but I haven’t thought of that in years. I find refreshing in feeling Him carry me like a little lamb, holding me tight against His chest, in His arms.

• Knowing Him more through the Bible stories that show me His attributes and putting myself in the stories, or taking the Word personally. For example, I was recently reading in the book of Ezra. I read chapter 9, verse 9, this verse talks about God’s unfailing love, and how He did not abandon the Israelites in their slavery. Ezra goes on to explain God was the One who revived them to be able to rebuild the Temple and to repair the ruins. I realized this is not only true for the Israelites  but for me also. I am in bondage too. God restores and revives me, my soul, my life, my heart. I am the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3: 15) He repairs the ruins of me when I am broken, or hurting. He heals my pain. He forgives my sin. He meets me in my thirst. He teaches me deep and intimate reliance on Him when I finally make the choice to seek Him for it.

Are you thirsty? How are you trying to quench your thirst? How will you find refreshment and true joy?  Go to the Oasis. Drink deep from the well.

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