July 15, 2016
A Time of Refreshing
We hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions. We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends. From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry. We call them our Friday Friends. So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our Friday Friend, Lisa Morrone.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Sometimes in life you walk alongside someone who teaches you how to live more fully. Other times, if you are so blessed, you will find someone who teaches you how to grow old with grace. For me, this woman is 93 and her name is Helen.
Each week I look forward to visiting with this dear friend in the nursing home where she now lives. Many days when I arrive I find her sitting out in the courtyard soaking in the warm sunshine, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, I’ll find Helen in her room gazing out the window, past the flowering plants on her windowsill, into the world I know she still longs to be a part of.
I often show up for my visits toting a fresh bouquet of flowers in a mason jar tied with a checkered ribbon—which always puts a big smile on her face, and mine, too! Then Helen and I spend the next hour or so chatting about our lives while I give her a manicure, or we just sit together in the sun sharing a picnic lunch I’ve prepared. On occasion we’ve even been known to tackle a craft project together. Each time my visit with Helen comes to end, I leave her nursing home with a deep sense of satisfied joy. Now I’ve discovered the scientific “why” for this emotion that predictably washes over me—and it’s deeper than sentiment; in fact, it’s chemical!
I once attended a continuing education seminar on the subject of depression. During that course of study I was pleasantly surprised to learn that two extremely important brain-and mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, found to be at insufficient levels in people suffering with depression, are produced during particular types of social interactions.
The quoted research study showed that when one person demonstrates an act of kindness towards another, the bodies of both the helper and the one who is being helped were measured to have significantly increased levels of the two mood-elevating neurotransmitters, serotonin and endorphins. Even more surprising was that if a third person—an uninvolved bystander—witnessed this act of kindness, her levels of serotonin and endorphins were measured to have increased as well!
While this information was news to those researchers, the Lord, who created our brains and the chemicals that flow around inside of them, knew this to be true all along. He even had King Solomon give testimony to it in today’s verse: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Father in Heaven, you’ve knit us together as individuals to function best when we are knit together with one another. Draw us out of our own, oftentimes, inward-focused worlds and spur us on to love and GOOD DEEDS, that we may be refreshed as we refresh others.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Make room in your schedule for a time of refreshment this week by deciding on one tangible act of kindness that you can “administer” to someone—friend, foe, or stranger…and then follow through with it! The benefits of your good deed will positively impact you, the one you directly blessed— and anyone else who happens to be present!
More from the Girlfriends
Lisa Morrone is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake (one of Lisa’s six books inher Restoring Your temple health resource collection. Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative Monday Morning Health Tips.
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Originally published Friday, 15 July 2016.