This world isn’t an easy place to be, is it?
Sorrow. Heartbreak. Loss.
Confusion. Uncertainty. Change.
Pain. Sickness. Disease.
Unrest. War. Famine.
Job loss. Frustration. Disappointment.
Sin. Destruction. Evil.
It doesn’t take long at all for us to get worn down and worn out. The sharpness of life gouges deep wounds in our souls, ripping and shredding and tearing as we journey on this road called “life.”
I’ve been thinking lately about all the ways we try to assuage the pain and refresh our spirits.
Sometimes we escape by turning to entertainment, like a novel or a movie or our favorite social media.
Other times we rely on our friends and family to boost our spirits.
And then there are times when we indulge in a favorite luxury – we enjoy a little pampering, a little shopping, or a little eating.
Sometimes we even form a cocoon of denial – sticking our heads in the sand so we’re blissfully ignorant of reality.
And what about those times we long to just get away from it all? Many of us anticipate summer vacations all year long, yearning for carefree days of relaxation and a break from the routine.
All of these can be effective ways of being refreshed and encouraged for different people and to varying degrees.
But there’s one constant source of restoration – no matter the season, no matter the person, and no matter the circumstances.
“He restores my soul.”
He restores my soul (Psalm 23:3) means my God cares about my soul.
He pays attention to it.
He notices when it becomes damaged, and He loves me enough to apply His tender mercy and His gentle touch.
He restores my soul means He’s strong enough to be able to restore it…
and kind enough to want to.
And don’t be mistaken, my friend; not a single one of us deserves this soul restoration. One of the things that harms our souls the most is our own sin harbored in the depths – disobedience to God and rebellion against His ways. God would be entirely within His rights to leave us to our own devices and wish us luck.
But I think we all know how that would go.
So even though not one of us deserves it, He offers it to each one of us. He extends it to us from His own hand, beckoning us to receive it, eyes imploring us not to reject it. Not to reject Him.
I stand in awe of such grace.
That mental picture sort of puts a new spin on those other things we turn to for restoration, doesn’t it? Because even though they’re not wrong and can even be good…
well, they’re still not Him.