From Dust to Waterfalls: Reframing Refreshment

Recently I took a hike with some friends in Israel. We tried to walk up to a mountain top fortress as fast as we could. When we got to the top and then back down again, we were soaked in sweat. Our shoes and boots were covered in dust. It was exhilarating and exhausting.


A short bus drive down the desert highway took us to a famous oasis, a place called En Gedi. We hiked some more there. But it felt different. The pace was leisurely and relaxed. The scenery was breathtaking. As we ascended the hill, at varying elevations, there were three separate waterfalls. At one of them, some of the guys ditched their shoes and stood directly under the falls, backs to the rock wall, face to the sky, arms outstretched to soak in the cool water.


I passed. I didn’t want to go through the trouble of taking off my shoes; my feet were sore and my back was aching. I didn’t have a towel and I didn’t want an hour-long bus ride with wet clothes on upholstered seats. Sure, it was more convenient to do it my way. But the guys who jumped in? They said it was the definition of refreshment.


There’s a verse about spiritual refreshment in Acts 3. Jesus’s famous follower, Peter, is preaching to people gathered in Jerusalem when he says, “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus…” 


The word “repent” means “to turn around,” to align myself with God’s definition of reality rather than my own. To repent means to turn away from one thing and turn towards another. In turning back to God, we leap into a waterfall of grace. It cleanses us in the purest water and rejuvenates our very souls.


If you’re stuck, if you feel tired and dusty, if you feel like you’re flat lining spiritually, turn around. Ask God to rinse and release and refresh you. It’s a prayer He loves to answer.


Craig Custance