He Restores My Soul

Psalm 46:10  SmellingCoffee.com
Hi friends. Happy Wednesday to you ~

I shared a bit about this at the end of Monday’s “Makes Me Smile” post and promised to expound on it today.  I say the following knowing that a huge majority of us are dealing with some type of busy-ness, especially during this time of year… so as I type this, I’m praying that God will use this post to lead you to the same “Still Waters” and restore each weary soul. He is faith-FULL!

It’s been an unusually busy season in ministry for me.  Lots going on at church and in women’s ministry, in Bible studies, in writing, in studying, and in preparing to do what it is God has called me to do… all in addition to mothering two teens getting ready to enter their senior and junior years of high school, and helping my husband as he serves and leads at church while working on his doctorate at home.  I’ve loved, loved, loved every minute of it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but as some of these things began to wind down last month, so did I.

In the throws of the busy-ness, I was daily soaking in, filling up, and pouring out so quickly that I was barely keeping up, and by the end of this season, I found myself completely depleted with nothing else to give.  Without intending to, I shut down and withdrew.  I avoided my blog, e-mails,  and didn’t even keep up with what was going on in the Facebook and Pinterest worlds!  (For me, that’s serious!)  And all I wanted to do was nap.  But I felt guilty about not “doing” – so I wouldn’t let myself fully rest.  Then there was that constant nagging in the back of my mind that I couldn’t stop because I needed to tackle the long “to do” list that piled up during the busy ministry season.  “I”  “I”  “I”…  YUCK!  And soon my eyes became focused only on myself and what I needed to do to survive and move through each day.  It was not good.  Somewhere along the way, I’d lost my joy.

For lack of a better term, I’ve come to call this condition Spiritual Bulimia – When everything eaten is thrown right back up, and the body can’t retain enough nutrients to satisfy its needs.  Out of necessity, it shuts itself down.

“Spiritual Bulimia” is different from Spiritual Starvation – where one continually tries to serve the Lord on an empty stomach – without eating from His Word at all.   Servants suffering from “Spiritual Bulimia” are filling up with the Word every day… but are not making the time to let it settle in and have it’s home in their hearts first.  Then they become overwhelmed, and their eyes move from joyful service of the Lord to themselves and what they can/can’t do.  Many (like me) will argue that there just isn’t enough time to let each new Truth simmer within because someone’s waiting for it just around the corner.  That may be true… but I don’t believe that this is the way God intended for us to live and serve Him.

I can’t claim to know much… but this I do know: God does not want us to live as burned out, weary, withdrawn, and self-focused servants.  I don’t have all of the answers to the prescription for Spiritual Bulimia, but I’m learning that  Sometimes God asks us to “do” with Him, and other times He asks us to simply “be.”  

Like a ship’s captain, He sometimes leads us valiantly through stormy waters, where we have an active part in working beside Him to fulfill His calling and accomplish His purposes.  And other times as a gentle shepherd, God leads us to stop striving and working… and to simply rest beside still waters, doing nothing but trusting Him and drinking to the full.  To me, the later is harder than the first.  But that’s where I’ve been lately and what I’ve been doing: Resting beside the still waters of simply and quietly being with the Lord.

It’s been a balm to my soul, and the joy of the Lord has returned to my heart and mind.

If you are worn out, either spiritually or physically, may I share with you a way to find Rest?   During my regular morning quiet time, I was looking up a name of Jesus when I came upon this beautiful truth in Psalm 25:15:

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.

What I loved about this verse was the reminder of where my eyes should be, and God’s promise that when my eyes are ever toward Him (and not on myself), He will __________ {whatever it is that HE knows I need.}

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will _________________.

We were created to function best when our eyes are ever toward the Lord.  It’s how He made us.  And His eyes are on us, too! (Luke 12:6-7)  When we trade this right focus for a focus on ourselves, our problems, our needs, our work, our responsibilities, our this and our that… we miss the blessed Truth that He is greater than anything else we could ever need.  And that wears us out and depletes our Spiritual rest.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will fill me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will sustain me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will take care of me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will help me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will provide all I need.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will forgive me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will restore me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will befriend me.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will parent me.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will __________________ {whatever it is that you we need.}

For a much needed heart rest and filling, I turned my eyes to God’s Word.  Not someone else’s thoughts about God’s Word, but the Word itself.  Not because I had to in order to study something to turn around and pour out… but because it was Life and I needed it and because I could.  I read a favorite group of passages, Psalm 23 – 32, every day for about a week, and soaked in the beautiful truths there, worshipped, confessed, and prayed right along with the psalmist, and let that be it for my “formal morning” Quiet Time with the Lord

Because I’m a “list maker,” this wasn’t easy.  As I prayed, I wanted to walk through the other practices of my Quiet Time routine and especially remind the Lord about the lists in my prayer journal: our needs, our desires, our problems, our calendars, and any pressure we may be under.  But I’d given those things to Him many times over, so I stopped listing out things to Him, stopped striving about all to be done, and just sat in silence with Him.  Nothing more.  It was like that same type of comfortable silence that comes when an exhausted toddler sits right up under a trusted adult’s arm, wanting to be snuggled close, but not feeling the need to do or say anything else but a sigh of contentment.

That’s how I sat with my Daddy.  Each day He would show me a treasure from the passages in Psalm, and I broke my own QT instructions and didn’t even write down but one or two of them.  (I’m such a rebel! – haha!) And I didn’t take any of them and turn them into a devotion or lesson for the future… I just ate the bread and drank the wine until I became full once again.

I’m such a proponent of keeping notes on the things the Lord teaches us.  There are rich treasures to be found when we record God’s activity in our lives through His Word, listening to Him and responding to Him, line upon line, one day at a time.  But I’m realizing that it’s also OK just to sit still in the presence of the Lord. In fact, it’s more than OK… It is necessary.  When to do this depends upon the season, the need, and how the Lord leads.

“For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven…

A time to be quiet and a time to speak.”
Eccl 3:7b

It was through this “being quiet” before the Lord that He restored my soul and brought me rest.  He didn’t cure my desire for an afternoon nap… haha… but He did restore to me the joy of walking with and being called by His name.  He renewed my spiritual energy and filled me up so that eventually, as I kept my eyes before Him and kept soaking in His Word, my cup began to overflow once more… with enough to share.

Though I didn’t understand what was going on at the time, I’m so thankful to have experienced the restoration that comes from being quiet before the Lord.  For a talker like me, who shows my love through my words, it was something I probably wouldn’t have learned was acceptable until it was all I could do.

Do you need spiritual rest today?  If so, may I encourage you to set your eyes ever before the Lord (and His Word)?  For He will be and do exactly what you need!  He will lead you beside still waters and restore your soul.  Sometimes a spiritual rest is more energizing than a Sunday afternoon nap! 😉

For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from Him comes my salvation.
He only is my Rock and my Salvation,
my Defense and my Fortress.
I shall to be greatly moved…

My soul, wait only upon God
and silently submit to Him;
for my hope and expectation are from Him.

Psalm 62:1-2,5

 

To You belongs silence
(the submissive wonder of reverence
which bursts forth into praise)
and praise is due and fitting to You, Oh God…
Psalm 65:1

 

“But oh! God is in his holy Temple!
    Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!”  Hab. 2:20

 

 

Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand)

that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge

(our High Tower and Stronghold). 

Selah[pause, and calmly think of that]!

Psalm 46:10-11

 

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me],
I shall not lack.

He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

He refreshes and restores my life…

Psalm 23:1-3

I’m praying with you~

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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com