Refreshment for Your Soul

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

I memorized the 23rd Psalm as a girl, and on my darkest of days, the words return to me as a prayer, refreshing my soul. It overwhelms me to think that the God who spoke the universe into being, knows my every need. Nothing satisfies my longings as Jesus, my Good Shepherd does. I can say that because I’ve loved shopping all my life. I learned that the possessions, great or small, do not fill the void in my life.

When emptiness and anxiety come as unwanted guests, it is not the stuff money buys that brings me relief. It is the rest and restoration I find in God’s beautiful creation–as if I hear Him whisper in the breeze on a walk in the forest or along a mountain stream. His peace, the peace that passes understanding, calms my anxious thoughts.

THINK ABOUT IT

God created the universe, every plant, every animal. He created you and me. He is willing and able to provide all our needs. It seems kind of foolish to look to someone or something else to satisfy our deepest longings. God loves and cares for us more than we can dream or imagine. His mercies and compassions are inexhaustible–new every morning.

PRAY ABOUT IT

Lord of all, we come to you with our emptiness and anxiety. You promised to fill those who hunger and thirst for more of you. Lord, fill us up so we won’t want for anything except your presence, your love and fellowship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Sickness and in Health

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Part of the wedding vows are, “In sickness and in health.” When we’re in love and everything is wonderful, we don’t often think of taking care of our loved one. I don’t feel like I have the gifts of a caregiver, so when my husband gets sick or has a surgery I have to pray for a larger measure of compassion. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed, I have to carry out caregiving duties with fear and trembling. I want to be a blessing, but I certainly don’t want to hurt him by being a blessing.

During one season of my life, I remember as soon as I slipped into bed, I heard my name. “Sue, I need a pain pill,” or “Sue, would you bring me a glass of water,” or “Sue, I have to go to the bathroom.” To be honest, I wanted to change my name, but each time I got under the covers, I quoted the 23rd Psalm:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:1-2). These verses became a prayer I prayed over and over, and when I did, I found God’s peace cover me. He empowered me with love and compassion to get through the “in sickness” part of marriage.

THINK ABOUT IT

I was a girl in elementary school when I memorized the 23rd Psalm. Many years had passed, but God comforted me with this Scripture. I can’t imagine how that could have happened if I had not read the Bible or memorized Scripture. That’s why it’s important to make reading God’s word a habit. At just the right time, a verse or passage will come to mind and be a comfort.

PRAY ABOUT IT

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Godly parents who taught me about You and showed me how to read the Bible. Thank you for forgiving me for the times I’ve chosen my ways over yours. Thank you for strengthening me to live in the reality of my salvation. I pray this for my readers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.