Yesterday I didn’t write. I felt discouraged. I was tired. I was overwhelmed. Today was a busy day and I have been exhausted. To be honest, I have been all these things for a long time. Tired, overwhelmed, discouraged. Every single day I struggle to give my burdens to my Creator.
I was raised in a Christian home by an amazing mom and step-dad who loved God, and loved being able to help others. My step-dad was a child of the Great Depression born into a farming family. He fought in World War Two (go Navy, beat Army) and was not one to ask for help. My mom had given all she could of herself to protect me during the divorce from my biological father.
The two people who raised me taught me to give all I can to help others, love God, and to not ask for help unless I had exhausted all other resources. For me to give all my brokenness and burdens to God is a huge hit to my pride. So I give him some but hold on to the things I don’t feel comfortable parting with. Holding onto the littlest of burdens over an extended period of time has spiritually left me exhausted.
Because of past hurts from people in my life, I am a pretty private, introverted person. I don’t talk to others about my emotions and feelings. I “fellowship” but I only give what’s on the surface. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I am reluctant to allow myself to be vulnerable- even with Christ, who has never failed me! I never used to be shy- I used to be a bookworm that was also a social butterfly who wore her heart on her sleeve. That is, until the hurts started impacting me more and more, thus allowing me to become a whole different person.
Philemon 20- Yes, brother, may I have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.
I always thought that sentiment was sweet, “refresh my heart in Christ” but didn’t admit how huge it was of a statement. Yes, God can and wants to heal our wounds, He wants to help lighten our loads and it’s a huge trust issue for a lot of us. Reading this passage today, it dawned on me. God wants us to be in fellowship with other believers- to lift each other up and help each other through life in Christ. That part I already knew. I think part of fellowship is to be vulnerable so that we can be refreshed. God can heal our hurts and take our heavy burdens, and I strongly believe that one of the ways He wants to do that is through fellowship.
When I was growing up, it was all about “accountability partners” or “prayer partners” which was as a teen more of best friend popularity contest. Now a lot of churches have “small groups” or “life groups” and I think that’s huge. Get plugged in and get to know a small group of believers. Do life together. Allow God to use them to refresh your heart, and when your load is light allow God to use you to refresh their heart.
Philemon 4-7- I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for the glory of Christ. For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the heats of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.