Each year we usually enjoy a week or so at the beach. Everyday is spent enjoying the sun, splashing in the salt water, riding the waves, and playing in the sand. We soak up this fun from the time the sun comes up in the morning until it sets beyond the horizon in the evening, and even then, we can sometimes be found taking nightly walks on the beach looking for crabs with flashlights.
By the end of the week, despite the amount of sunscreen we apply, we have all usually gotten quite a bit of sun. Now for those of you that are already thinking, “Why wouldn’t you wear sunscreen”, let me assure you, we do. However, it wears off, and we all tend to forget to reapply it fast enough and, therefore, we usually have a slight pink tint. It’s not bad, so please don’t write me emails conveying alarm. : ) Most of you can probably mentally take yourself to a place where you were exhausted, sticky from salt water, and stinging from the combination of salt and sand rubbing against your sun-kissed skin. It isn’t until you get cleaned up and are able to apply what we call “the green goop”, commonly called Aloe Vera, that you begin to feel relief. This green slimy stuff (that we keep in the refrigerator) can actually be some of the most refreshing stuff in the world, after a long day on the beach. It soothes, heals, and even sometimes anesthetizes your skin.
This week, I was reminded how friendships can be the lotion that heals the sunburns of our hearts. There are times when the heat and irritants of our world can really get to us. It’s not always devastating seasons. Sometimes, it’s just the small life-sucking things that the enemy throws at us each day. We can find ourselves feeling exhausted emotionally, mentally irritated, and our spirits can often have a painful sting. I can think of so many times in my own life where I’ve felt this way and God would use a friend to come along and refresh me. Sometimes, it happens through a phone call, an email, or perhaps a letter in my mailbox. Whatever it may be, it always comes at just the right time (after a long hard day) and it has a way of bringing comfort and can even invigorate me to keep going in this journey of life.
Does someone come to your mind that’s been a refresher in your life recently? Did you take the time to thank them and communicate just how God used them to bless you? What about you? Are you consciously being a refresher to others? Can you think of someone this week that you called, emailed, wrote a letter to, or text with the sole purpose of encouraging them? We all have moments where life just seems too “hot” to handle and the irritations seem to be rubbing in ever direction. Let’s be conscious this week to not only thank those who are used by God to rejuvenate us, but to also take the time to reach out and be that soothing lotion to another parched and weary soul!