“It is often the issues of the soul that keep us from intimacy with God and others.”
God wants us to come to Him in our weakness and lack so He can fill our empty vessels to overflowing. He desires that we take care of the most precious part of ourselves, our souls, but often we’re distracted and too busy to make soul care a priority. We may be ignorant of our need to steward our souls, or we may fear it will cause us to become self-centered. But Jesus said to His disciples, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul” (Matthew 16:26a).
Anxiety and a loss of peace alert me that something is off balance like a washing machine loudly calling attention to something not right within my soul. My soul is at rest when my schedule is more balanced, allowing me to pause, catch my breath, and spend precious moments in reflection.
In 3 John 2, the apostle John encourages us with these words: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” Another version reads, “as your soul prospers.” Our souls prosper when they flourish, thrive, and grow strong and healthy. But the enemy is bent on eliminating what is most crucial to our well-being, what our souls need most.
For me, there are tried and true practices for soul restoration. Solitude, having time alone to “be” and to ponder about the present, to reflect on the past, and to dream into the future is one sure way to restore my soul. Creating space for God and listening to His voice is another way to strengthen and encourage my soul. Walking in nature and exercising helps me manage my soul and keep it in balance. Heart-to-heart relational connections and doing things that give back to me, such as hobbies, are fuel to my soul. Guarding my heart through confession and repentance, forgiveness, grieving loss, telling myself the truth, and expressing gratitude are what my soul needs.
When I was younger, I used to cram my schedule with back-to-back commitments. As I’ve aged and hopefully become wiser, I’m seeing the beauty of not being in a hurry. One of the best things we can do for our souls is to slow down. Taking on more of a turtle’s pace, we become more aware of what we’re feeling and what God is saying. And when we steward our souls, our capacity expands.
“Make time with God a nonnegotiable in your life. Only God can heal the soul.”
Name one thing you can do today to give your soul what it needs.