"He leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul." Psalm 23:2-3
Some days I feel pretty worn.
As if my soul can no longer breathe in all the goodness of life because it's just too darn tired.
It's more than just the physical angst of exhaustion. It's an emotional and spiritual force as well.
And often times I have asked God, "Lord, if you are enough---why don't you feel like enough?!"
And, "Lord, if you are the one who refreshed my soul---why does my soul feel so lifeless?"
And, "Father, if you are the One who fills me, why do I feel so empty?"
And then, I go about my day. The dishes, and laundry, doctors appointments, and carpool line, little league and church activities.
I reach the end of the day with the same questions again...
BUT, here's what I've come to recognize:
I'm asking God to refresh my body, soul, and mind. I'm asking Him to rejuvenate my mental, spiritual, and physical health. Yet, I'm not creating any space in my life for that to take place.
I'm too busy being busy to stop and give God five minutes so that He CAN restore me.
Life is go, go, go all the time and there seems little time for much of anything outside of the day to day to-do list. So, the question becomes, how can we create space in our life so that God can refresh out hearts? How can we carve out moments where we allow Him to work?
SO, what are specific things we can do to tune our hearts and minds to Him?
1. Open God's Word.
To me, this is the most obvious, and yet most overlooked thing that we should be doing multiple times a day. We walk through our days asking God why He is not speaking to us, meanwhile our Bibles are sitting closed on a forgotten shelf. We have access to God's Word at any time. So, when we are in need of truth, strength, restoration, or any other good thing, our first instinct should be to open the Bible and actually read it.
" All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 1 Timothy 3:16-17
If you struggle with where to get started studying God's Word, I would suggest purchasing a Bible Study guide, or taking advantage of a web page like this one that offers short daily devotions. Don't be afraid to reach out to a pastor or teacher and ask for help getting started!
2. Listen to Christ-focused music.
Music truly does evoke such emotion. Studies indicate that music is therapeutic. And, when we focus our minds and hearts on God through music, He can use that to refresh our hearts.
" whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things..." Philippians 4:8
When I find myself feeling undone by the day, I simply turn on one of my favorite worship songs AND I listen. I close my eyes. I allow the truth to saturate my mind. And, I feel so much better afterwards!
3. Make good choices for physical health.
OK, if you know me AT ALL, you know that I am not an exercise guru or a health and nutrition expert. However, I have become keenly aware that my body, mind, and soul together all make me as a whole. In other words, my physical health can directly impact my spiritual and mental health, and vice versa.
" Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" 2 Corinthians 6:19
While I cling tightly to the truth that this body is just a shell, that will one day rot in the dirt, I also believe that in this life we are responsible for taking care of these bodies. And if I physically feel unwell, I am more likely to give into feeling unwell emotionally and spiritually.
Making good choices for our physical health can look as simple as:
Drinking more water
Getting more sleep (HA, I know, if you're a mom this is laughable)
Eating a well-balanced diet
Stretching your muscles throughout the day
Going for a walk or participating in other physical activities
I struggle with this and it's not my area of expertise, but I'm finding it to be so important. This site is a great faith based resource to help you get started making wise choices.
4. Be still & be silent.
Seriously, just sit down and shut up for a moment.
Often our days our overwhelmed with hustle and noise.
And, we may ask God why He isn't speaking to us, when simply we aren't stopping to listen!
Set a timer for 5 minutes or 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Lock yourself in a bathroom or closet, or whatever you have to do to make it happen.
"Be still, and know that I am God" excerpt from Psalm 46:10
So, next time you find yourself feeling empty and wandering when God will show up to fill
you. Make a choice to carve out some space in your day for Him to begin to breathe refreshing life into your body, mind, and soul.