I don’t claim to know a lot about computers. I have a degree that says I am supposed to have at least more than a passing acquaintance with them, but quite frankly when it comes to the technical stuff like SQL and Oracle and COBOL and RAM and ROM I forgot most of what I learned about computers within six months of graduation.
I do, however, know this one very important fact about computers. They must be plugged in to a power source if you want to do anything useful with them. A battery will do, but even a battery has to ultimately be recharged in some way. This brings me to the final definition of refresh that I want to cover:
a. To renew (the image on a display screen) by renewing the flow of electrons from the cathode-ray tube: The faster a monitor refreshes images, the less it flickers.
b. To maintain (data in a dynamic RAM) by sending a new electric pulse to recharge the chips.
Just think about it. As you sit here reading this blog those little electrons and pulses are refreshing continually, hard at work keeping the words up on the screen. If you reached over and pulled the plug out of the wall (or took out your battery) it would all disappear.
We aren’t all that different from computers, really. We are incredibly complex creations that need a power source of some sort if we are to be able to really do the tasks we were created to do. An unplugged computer makes a great paperweight. You could take a powerless monitor and probably come up with any number of mostly useless things to do with it, but that wasn’t what it was created for.
One of my favorite passages in scripture is Isaiah 40, verses 28-31 (from the New International Version):
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
This is it. The ultimate source of renewal and refreshing is being plugged into something that continues to send power through us. We can fix up and patch up all we want. We can soak in a spa, we can restore the authentic parts of us, we can eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and that will refresh us mentally and physically. But there is a deeper part of us that often gets tired, that longs to be refreshed. Our spirits are tired and the display is flickering from lack of power.
And so we hope in the Lord, or as other versions translate it “wait on the Lord”. Not passively, hoping that if we can just hold on long enough He will help us to squeak through another day. We seek Him. We plug into the source that renews us, the source that covers us with the grace not just to limp through our days but to soar!
Can you imagine? Unlimited strength. Unlimited grace. Even in the moments when we feel like we don’t deserve it, when we feel like we just can’t take another step under our own power, if we are plugged in to the source the power is there.
I have had many days lately when I have felt that I just couldn’t make it one step further on my own. I am stressed, I am frustrated, I am stale, and I am tired of fighting battles that I thought had already been won long ago. And then I plug my cord back in. I sit down and take a moment to meditate on scripture. I take the time to pray for those around me. I take the time to worship. The power begins to move again as grace recharges and renews my life. And I take one more step and then another and another and I’m running. It doesn’t make everything perfect, I may still feel like I’m running against gale force winds, but I’m running and I won’t stop.
This is the ultimate in refreshing, when we are plugged in to the power of a Holy God and grace is flowing.