Why, my soul, are you downcast? (Ps. 43:5)
Have you ever talked to your soul? The psalmist did. But in his worldview, the soul (nephesh in Hebrew) was the center of personhood, the breath of living beings, and the home for emotion and mind and will. His soul, the essence of his inner self, was downcast. Have you ever felt low, and told yourself to snap out of it? The psalmist speaks to his soul, but he doesn’t tell it to feel better. He tells himself to hope. He doesn’t promise to heal himself. He trusts God’s promise to save him.
In Psalm 23, David famously wrote, “He [God] refreshes my soul.” If our soul needs restoration, it means it’s depleted or damaged in some way. Life has a way of doing this to us. When we find that our souls are empty and in need of rejuvenation, we can put our hope in God. He will restore our souls.
One of the best practices for soul renewal I have found is a spiritual retreat. Whether you go alone or with others, getting away to a peaceful place for the purpose of soul renewal is healing. Once you step away from the concerns of everyday life, you can become more attentive to God’s voice. It is often in these quiet moments, as if beside still waters, the soul’s thirst is quenched.
Put a spiritual retreat on your calendar before the year’s end.
Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway [Wesleyan] Church, in Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.