We are an oasis for others.
Friendship is an avenue that God uses to refresh us and those around us.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25
One of the early words over Northlands is that we are like an oasis in the desert. We are a place where people who are tired and thirsty come to drink deeply and be refreshed. I have always loved that description of our church family. God says “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25) and that is exactly what our Father does. While that can happen in so many different ways, like being in nature or during times of corporate worship similar to what we experience on Sunday mornings, it also happens in the context of friendships.
The plans and purposes of God are administered on this Earth through His Spirit at work in us! When we let people into our homes and lives, investing in friendships and community, we invite Holy Spirit to come and do a work, not only in us but through us, for the benefit of others. We are empowered to create peaceful atmospheres that position people to hear and receive from God. We speak encouraging words to our friends that are as refreshing as a cold glass of iced tea on a hot summer day.
Growing up, every time I visited my Aunt Vonda’s house I would fall asleep on her couch. I am talking every single time! There was something so serene and peaceful about her home. Her home was like a haven. She loved God. She listened well and encouraged me often. I felt relaxed in her home, my guards were down and my body would literally rest.
As I have grown older, I have friends who are like “my aunt’s house” to me. They are the kind of people with whom I can exhale, throw my feet up and just talk without fear of judgment or expectation of perfection. What a gift those friendships are in my life. Proverbs 27:9 explains how a “sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”
I believe in the context of our God-ordained friendships - the ones that are uplifting, life-giving and encouraging - we experience that oasis in the desert that Northlands so aptly models. You, dear one, are a chosen vessel through which the presence of God, the peace of God, and the life of God flows into the people around you! When you believed in Jesus and God filled you with His Spirit it meant that every room and relationship you would walk into from then until your last day on Earth would usher in the presence of God. You carry His Spirit, you carry His presence and His presence always brings refreshment.
What if we began to declare this truth over ourselves at the start of each day, before driving to work or meeting our lunch date or parenting our children? What might happen in the lives of the people with whom we befriend, if we understood that we are God’s chosen conduit for refreshment to the tired and broken around us? Maybe we would be present a little more often with the people we call friends. Maybe we would see the broken, angry and hurting one at work as a person worth loving and investing our time and attention into.
Stop agreeing with the lie that your life is insignificant. Start believing that everywhere you go, you bring the refreshing life of Jesus. Begin to invest in the friendships God has given you with greater intentionality and deeper love because you carry God’s refreshing presence into every encounter with your friends.
I am an oasis for others. People who are tired and thirsty come into my life to be refreshed by the Spirit.
Jesus in me significantly impacts the people around me.
My life is a conduit for the transforming, power of God to minister to those around me.
Friendships are holy avenues for God to move in me and through me.
Lord, you promise to refresh the weary and restore the broken. Thank you for choosing me to be a part of accomplishing that agenda on Earth. Give me eyes to see the friendships you are calling me to invest in. Give me creativity in how to connect with people and confidence to speak words of truth and life as your Spirit prompts me each day. Give me a fresh dose of hospitality so that I can host others in my home or office in a way that feels like they just stepped into an oasis. Thank you for Lord for calling and equipping me with your powerful Spirit to partner with your plan to refresh my friends.