Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.

Our military has something called tanker aircraft planes that are extremely necessary for success. These tankers carefully refuel our military fighter planes while in the air.

When a plane is at war, it can’t call a timeout to go refuel — it has to stay engaged in the fight. So both the tanker aircraft and fighter planes are designed to do this effectively.

And in much the same way, our hearts have been designed to be refueled by God’s love as we relate to one another. We need that unfailing fuel not only to sustain us but those around us.

The scripture reminds us that it’s God’s love that never fails. No human heart is born with the capacity to love at God’s level. Human love is much more limited than that.

So, experiencing and expressing the quality of God’s love starts by acknowledging God as the source of love. Then it succeeds by acting in the spirit of that love.

But how do we continue to be refreshed and to release God’s love?

Physical refreshing. Our physical condition effects how well we live and love. When we’re tired and stressed out we won’t give our best. In that state little issues become big ones. That’s why God commands us to rest every seven days. It’s not a suggestion. Jesus taught us, the Sabbath was made for man.

Our bodies need a day of rest every week. They need us to treat them in ways that keep them healthy. A little exercise can do all of us some good.

It releases positive hormones that cause life to look a little brighter. It’s important to manage stress well too.

Emotional recharging — our emotions are like batteries that can get drained with overuse.

When we ignore our soul, we feel drained, overwhelmed and inadequate.

It’s true, burning the candle at both ends shows we’re not as bright as we think. Jesus as our Shepherd wants to help us find rest for our souls.

It’s why he taught his followers to practice solitude — time alone to think, pray and rest. Our emotions need that. They need recreation too — time to do things we enjoy. It may be working in the yard, watching a ball game or shopping — whatever recreates energy for life.

Also humor is important. Laughter is a load lightener and medicine for our inner person.

We can all find something that tickles our funny bone.

Spiritual renewal — we are spirit, soul and body. Our spirit needs to be strengthened by God daily through His word and presence. It keeps us maturing and following God’s directives.

We need a consistent connection to a church family, too. A Christian without a church family is really an orphan. We all need the nurturing and support of a Christian family. Our pastor feeds us and watches over our spiritual life. Our brothers and sisters in Christ provide perspective, comfort and accountability.

Life and love can feel like a battle at times. But it’s one God promises to help us never fail at — if we learn to refuel. Let’s stay strong and soar into great relationships.

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Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit myffc.com.

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