This life is not for the faint of heart. We are called to God-sized assignments designed to impact eternity. We tackle the big stuff. This work is demanding, exhausting, overwhelming.
We live lives layered with transition, cumulative loss and grief. We are exposed to unfiltered injustice, abuse, poverty, heart wrenching circumstances up close and personal.
And we carry our groceries for blocks and make our dinner from scratch and spend half a day getting the wrong form signed.
No wonder we are exhausted! We should be exhausted.
But we mustn’t stay exhausted.
Our bodies need sleep and nutrition. Our minds need breaks and stretching. Our emotions need a time out to process and breathe. And our souls? Our souls crave rest in God.
Remember the invitation to come to Jesus and He will give soul rest? And that part about His yoke being easy and His burden light? Jesus didn’t say our circumstances would be easy. He said His yoke is easy. That yoke tethers us to Him, freeing us to “labor with all His energy”, as Paul puts it.
Human effort doesn’t make a dent in the stuff you are called to. As amazing and wonderful as you truly are, you are entirely inadequate for what you are tasked to do. Jesus, yoked to you, is the only One who can heal, rescue, transform, bring peace and hope. It is the overflow of Christ in you that impacts the hearts you love and serve.
Fruit grows in the soil of abiding. We labor with Jesus and He gives us rest. We learn from Him and He imparts who He is. We engage Him in tending our souls and those moments invade, color, influence, and direct all our other moments.
What’s the one thing that could negate your service, take you out, destroy your impact? Simply ignore Jesus. Just neglect your soul.
Let’s be honest. We haven’t done well at honoring our limits and caring for our souls. We might be just a little addicted to all the activity and noise of the merry-go-round, bewildered that all that commotion gets us exactly nowhere.
And yet we long for soul rest.
Are you dragging your fatigued, hurried, living-on-fumes self to tackle herculean tasks? What if you showed up tomorrow nourished by the One who is peace, rest, joy? If you brought a rested, nurtured, centered soul indwelled by the presence of Jesus to the ones you serve? What difference would it make for others to experience the power of your rested soul?
Soul care includes quiet, solitude, prayer, worship, reflection, study of the Word. And it also includes creative expressions of who you are, being embraced by friends, long walks and star gazing, lingering moments over tea, nourishing your body with fresh food and your mind with fresh input, hugging kids, and celebrating.
Soul care certainly includes time alone with your Creator, responding to His invitations fragrant with kindness and truth. And it includes time with life-giving, stimulating friends. It includes repotting plants or sewing a pillow or jumping into freezing cold water or painting a wall or watching the sun rise or building a boat or lip syncing or whatever else makes your heart soar.
Yes, you are called to hard, exhausting endeavors. But you are also called to Rest and Joy. Your Beloved longs to care for your soul.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about soul care. How are you caring for your soul? What have you learned about yourself when it comes to soul care?
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.