Thanksgiving, not only a time of sharing delicious food, but also gathering to give thanks for God’s goodness.. As you know, (particularly the moms and grandmoms), a lot of planning and preparation goes into the meal. My favorite time is when we’re all chatting as we eat the pumpkin pie smothered in whipped cream. This is the P.S. time after the meal. There are always lots of shared stories, laughter, and memories. Then we departed, promising to see each other soon. While the meal is the main event, it is this finish when I am very tired that refreshes me.

In some ways, Corinthians 16 is like the P.S. to all that has gone on before. As Paul finishes this letter there are many things he wants to say in closing. Corinthians dealt with a wide range of issues facing the young church in Corinth and Paul’s advice helped them understand how the Good News related to living lives as Christ followers. It was very heavy stuff, but the tone seems to be Paul wanting to finish on an encouraging note. He speaks specifically about those who helped him and how they had refreshed his spirit.

“For they refreshed my spirit and yours also…” I Corinthians 16:18

Paul’s spirit needed refreshing and fellow believers helped him. The word ‘refresh’ means to revive or reinvigorate. We refresh plants with water. We refresh our computers when they get glitches. And in some way the very presence of these men refreshed him. Perhaps they just let him rest, told him stories of what God was doing, or let him be just a brother in Christ. We don’t know what, but it is something we can do for others, especially those who serve at church.

They may not know they need to be refreshed but you may sense God telling you to encourage them. One time as Children’s Director, a friend saw before I did that I needed to be “refreshed”. I took her advice and went away for two days to be alone with the Lord. The first night I went to bed at 8:00 pm and woke up 8:00 am the next morning. Twelve hours of sleep! I did not know my physical tank was that empty but her encouragement refreshed me.

Think about our staff at EFCC, from those who work behind the scenes, to those who are in front of the congregation, and please consider ways of refreshing their spirits. Perhaps your words of encouragement might be just the very thing God wants them to hear. Please be praying for all of them to be “refreshed” in their spirits.

Francie Overstreet

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