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He Restores My Soul

By May 6, 2024May 9th, 2024No Comments

Over the past year a lot has changed in my life. One of the most major of life events was getting married to my best friend. While marriage has been such a blessing from the Lord, it also brought many challenges to a girl who is not very fond of change. There were many adjustments that a girl, who was very single for 30 years, needed to become normalized to. For months on end, it seemed like every week contained a new struggle, health issue or trial.

Sleepless nights tested my endurance. Months of back-to-back sickness left me feeling debilitated, incapable to fulfill the needs of those around me. Self-image struggles nagged at me daily of who I desired to be for my husband, and I felt unable to meet up to my own expectations. Endless tasks around the house pulled me away from what I used to spend in deep devotion with God. I felt distant from who I used to be and my relationship with God felt so different.

It was when I was lying up in bed recently with the flu that I recalled a verse I had memorized long ago and repeated frequently when I struggled to fall asleep.

Psalm 23:2-3

He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. 

Months of being sick with endless viruses and colds left me stuck in bed and feeling helpless to perform daily duties and tasks. Until recently, I finally gained a new perspective to a possible reason God has allowed me to suffer in this area. Maybe all this time, my sickness was God’s way of “making” me lie down in His green pastures. It was forcing me to “be still” and not constantly “do,” but lean into the One who could help me have a restored perspective.

There are moments that I look back to the girl I used to be before I got married, longing for better health, increased time and a more fit body like I used to have, but God has been teaching me that we each walk through seasons that help prune and grow us differently. Each season brings it’s own struggles. No season is perfect. No season is meaningless. No season is wasted. There is intentionality that God uses each season of our life for. Sometimes I long for a different season, rushing through what God is trying to teach me in the hardship and long for a perfected result with the bright sunny days of delight. I have been finding that I instead need to focus on the good God has for me in this current season. I look to the past and reminisce what I don’t have now and look to the future and hope for more.

What if I stop looking at all the negative aspects of my life, things that may only be seasonal, and revel in the opportunity of this current season to help me draw closer to God in a way that I only can do so right here. Even if my circumstances may not be how I imagined, I can use this time to serve and find joy until God brings me to the next season. Struggling is not a sign of weakness, but rather an opportunity for growth. Pain may feel debilitating, but it can be used to help us gain more strength. Admitting our insecurities may cause us to feel vulnerable, but we can use our insecurities to relate and bond with others.

Working hard, helping others, and desiring to improve our bodies are not wrong things to desire, but when anything takes priority over time spent with God, it becomes an idol. In Luke 10, we see how Martha was so focused on making sure her dinner was prepared properly and effectively, trying to please Jesus by “doing” all she could to satisfy Him, she totally missed the mark. Instead, Mary had a heart willing to put all aside to spend time with God. She put Jesus before all things, and her heart of intimacy pleased God.

Luke 10:40-42

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

How often I can be like Martha, trying to “do” all I can to please God and others, that I lose the purpose of serving. Sometimes the best serving we can do is by spending intimate time with our God. He doesn’t require us to complete our list of “to-do’s” before coming to Him. He doesn’t ask us to reach perfection, look flawless or cover up our blemishes. He wants our raw hearts, open to being restored. Society pulls us from God, causing us to want immediate results, desiring more success, craving prominent progress. Time spent with God can sometimes feel contradictory to the mindset society infiltrates into us daily.

I have found that God wants more than my effort, he wants time with His daughter. He wants her heart, because He knows that is what is best for her. There may be a million things that are screaming at her, trying to catch her attention and time, but all of them can wait because time with God is more valuable than the temporal tasks that need to be attended to. There’s no greater time spent, than with God our Creator. There’s no task that is too important to pull us away from intimate time with God.

What distraction is pulling you away from God? When you are alone, what do you fill your time doing? What is causing you dissatisfaction with this current season you’re currently in? Choose to spend your time, not doing things to change your season or checking off boxes for accomplishment, but rather please God with a heart that desires to spend uninterrupted, dedicated time with Him.

Involve God into your day. When unplanned chaos arises, reach out to God first for help before getting stressed or contacting anyone else. In moments of performing mundane household chores or duties, worship Him in songs of praise. On car drives from work or travelling, use your time to go to Him in prayer with thanksgiving, surrender and supplication.

Ask God to make you still, leading you to a place of restored perspective, away from distractions as you spend time in intimate devotion with Him, before all else. This is what pleases God most. Your circumstances may not change, but maybe you’ll come away with a restored perspective and rather a heart that is changed.

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