As I write this, I am up near the border of Canada where I am speaking. It’s absolutely lovely! The trees are starting to change colors and we are right near the coast. This morning, my host and I were able to take a two-mile walk by the bay. Breathtaking landscapes all around me.
Spending time with God in the beauty of His creation restores my soul.
Looking out the window at the beauty all around me early this morning created in me a deeper thirst for God. In Psalm 42:1-2, David writes, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” That longing for God, that deep inner ache, has been placed there by design. Originally, when God first created mankind and before sin entered the world, our human souls enjoyed non-stop perfect fellowship with God. Imagine walking through the Garden of Eden simply enjoying God’s presence. No problems. No big needs to be brought to God. Simply enjoying Him. However, ever since sin entered the world, our souls have longed for restoration.
With all the demands of life and everything that distracts us, how do we find the space to continually restore our souls? I’ve been thinking a lot about that question and here’s what I’ve come up with:
Remember. It’s easy to drift through life, getting wrapped up in the pressures and stresses of daily living. In our hurry, we’re distracted from simply enjoying God. It feels so foreign. We lose a bit of our passion. But… think back. Remember when you first fell in love with Jesus? Remember when it first dawned on you how much He loved you and how extravagant His grace was that was offered to you? Remember how you couldn’t get enough of Him? You were in awe every morning and in love every night. Ask the Lord to re-kindle that love within you. You might pray, “Oh Lord Jesus, I love you. The pressures and stresses of life crush me, but I long for more of you. Fill me with yourself. Restore to me the joy of my salvation.”
Rest. You knew I was going to write that! It’s a recurring theme in my life. I tend to bullet through life at 110 miles per hour, but God is continually calling me back. Back to the place of quiet waters and rest in His presence. There is no soul restoration without rest. If you’re like me, and the next great adventure is always out there, you might join me in this prayer: “Lord Jesus, remind me today that my body is human. Draw me into the place of deep rest with you. I confess I often don’t live within the boundaries that you have placed around me. Help me to remember that Jesus Himself needed sleep and rest. Remind me that there is sabbath rest for me.”
Rejoice in His Character. If there is a practice that has awakened in me my first love, it has been the practice of praising and thanking God every day for who He is and what He has done. In the past two weeks, I have been praying for a dear friend who has been suffering physically. As I have praised God, I have watched the enemy flee. I have seen miracles in this friend’s life. And I have fallen more deeply in love with Jesus. You simply can’t praise Him without falling more in love with Him! Why don’t you try it this week? Get on your knees first thing in the morning. Put in some headphones with worship music. As you listen, allow the music to prompt your praise. Ask the Holy Spirit to well up within your praise to God. He will answer. You can be sure. As you praise Him, you will be filled with joy and your heart will be brought into deeper union with His. Soul restoration will happen! Your soul was created to delight in and enjoy God. Don’t deny your longings anymore. Be like the deer in Psalm 42 who craves more and more of God’s glorious presence.
If you haven’t already, order your copy of Our Father. Dive into the Lord’s Prayer this Fall and discover the deep invitations tucked within.
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast we have Michelle Nietert, counselor and co-author of God, I Feel Scared. You don’t want to miss this episode which will give you the tools to help your kids and grandkids deal with their fears.