My kitchen counter is starting to resemble an electronic gadget shop.
Every evening I plug all my devices into electric sockets.
- Cell phone.
- The dogs' training collars.
Yes, training collars. My wild and crazy boxers are now wearing electronic training collars to gently persuade them to refocus on my commands instead of their impulses.
But the other day I forgot to charge the collars overnight. Hoping there was a bit of power remaining the next morning, I optimistically buckled the collars on the dogs. No charge. Not even the slightest tingle. The collars were useless without having been connected to their power source.
Some days I wish it were just as easy to recharge my own batteries. Days when my to-do list outlasts my time and energy. When I'm feeling depleted. Exhausted. Empty.
How do you recharge yourself? Do you take a nap? Have a snack? Go for a walk? Play with your dog? Maybe your go-to energy source is caffeine. Or a high protein diet.
But energy depletion is not limited to the physical realm. We can be depleted emotionally, especially if we're enmeshed in stressful relationships. We can also be mentally drained. Just ask any student who is facing final exams in the coming weeks.
And we can be depleted spiritually. Often our physical state affects our spiritual condition. Consider the prophet Elijah. In I Kings 19, Elijah had enough. He told God to take his life—and then he fell asleep.
Before God addressed Elijah's mental, emotional and spiritual issues, the Lord provided for his physical needs. Yahweh Jireh, Elijah's provider, provided food and water. Then He allowed the prophet to sleep some more.
God was also concerned with Elijah's emotional and spiritual condition.
Elijah complained about being the only one left who was a true worshiper of Yahweh, the Living God. But the Lord reminded the prophet to listen for the gentle whispers of divine leading. Then He commissioned Elijah to fulfill God's purposes and identify a successor. The message? Elijah, you're not finished yet ... and you're not as alone as you think.
What about you and me? In this world of constant connectedness, when do we disconnect from our devices to rest and reenergize? With many of us keeping our cell phones on the nightstand, which do we open first in the morning: our Bible or our text messages?
Our spiritual refreshment comes in several ways:
- Forgiveness: "Therefore repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).
- Dependence on God: "But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint" (Isa. 40:31).
- Community: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).
Perhaps we find ourselves more prone to discouragement. We might allow relationships to slip—either with God or with other people. Maybe we're doing so much for others that we're not taking care of ourselves—eating right and getting enough sleep. Perhaps we're rushing from one obligation to another without taking the time to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit to learn if these obligations are our idea, not His. Good ideas are not always God-ideas.
Let's learn from the lessons God taught Elijah. Recharge by reconnecting with the Lord in our daily quiet time and staying connected to Him throughout the day: the original wireless connection!
Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher. She writes for nationally circulated magazines and is published in 32 anthologies, including 25 "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books. She also authored Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, endorsed by Kay Arthur. Learn more at avawrites.com.
This article originally appeared at avawrites.com.
Listen to the podcasts included with this article for more information on rest and recharging.
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