17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ 24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”
It is interesting to read of the three reasons why Peter says we should repent (vs 19):
- So that your sins may be wiped out
- So that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and
- So that Jesus may return.
It is the second reason that struck me – “so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”. What does that mean? Why is it only times of refreshing and not refreshment the whole time? So I went back to the Greek words for “times” and “refreshing” (kairos and anapsuxis). Kairos has the sense of “season” or “occasion” around it, anapsuxis has the sense of “recovery of breath”. I like that!
When I am in relationship with God, not only are my sins forgiven, but He gives me times to “catch my breath”. I need those times! When life chugs on as it does, and stuff happens (or doesn’t!), maybe I need to remember that this may be one of those times where God is letting me “recover my breath”!
Lord, help me to recognise those seasons of recovery and not get frustrated or downhearted by them, but rather be refreshed by you in them.
Written by Ps. Jen Irving