Savoring the Sweetness of Soul-Restoration

Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul”

Last week I shared how I was knowing simplicity in my faith-walk through lingering with the Lord (The Luxury of Lingering). This week I want to share how I am knowing simplicity in my faith-walk through savoring the sweetness, as I am recognizing in slowing down, how the Lord restores my soul.

It is amazing to me how much you miss in life by rushing through and being too busy. Quite often I still am in that mode of rushing and busyness, but recently, as I have started to be intentional about slowing down, I began to notice the reality of soul-restoration. But before I recognized the reality of it I had to dig into what it really meant. I had studied Psalm 23 in-depth before, but this time as I looked at just this small portion of verse three, it wasn’t about learning for knowledge. This time it was about learning out of desperation and neediness. And there is definitely a difference between the two.

When you study for knowledge, you just want to gain information, most often head-knowledge. When you come to the Lord in His Word hungry and needy, desperate to find out how to receive what His Word tells you is reality, you look at the Word totally differently. It is personal, heart-to-heart, I no longer just want to know about it, I want it in my life.

So that is how it came about, I looked at those four simple words: “He restores my soul.” And I thought how much I need restoring, and how my life is in need of restoring. Then I began to look in Bible commentaries to learn what that could mean for me.

I learned that it literally means that “He causes my life to return to me.” “He causes me to live.” The word soul in this verse “refers to the spirit when exhausted, weary, or sad; and the meaning is, that God quickens or vivifies the spirit” at those times. The commentator clarifies that this has nothing to do with backsliding or wandering away from the Lord. Instead, it refers to “the life or spirit as exhausted, weary, troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil…” This explanation spoke directly to my heart. The commentator went on to explain that in the restoration the Lord brings back the soul’s “vigor. He encourages it; excites it to new effort; fills it with new joy.” This explanation is taken from Barnes Notes on the Bible.

I took this all in hungrily, ravenous for this newness in my life. But. when would it happen? I didn’t know, and I took with me just a few words, a breath prayer for the day. “Shepherd Guide, Restore my soul.” And as I went through my day finding those times of depletedness (is that a word?) I cried out to the Lord.

It was a few days later when I was looking at Psalm 31:7 NLT “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles and you care about the anguish of my soul.” (Sidenote, most versions say “I will be” rather than “I am.”) Hmmm, David again is sharing about his recognition of the Lord’s presence in loving him in the tough times and knowing what he is going through. It must have been all those hours out in the fields with the sheep, much time to reflect on the Lord, His loving presence, and His work in David’s life. You see that is the savoring I am talking about.

That verse there in Psalm 31 started me on a journey of hunting through my mind of how the Lord has shown me His unfailing love, and how He had demonstrated care for the anguish of my soul. And I began to write down those instances that came to mind.

I wrote how the Lord had provided step-by-step help throughout the process of moving my mom. First, it was a Christian liaison, a go-between for Mom and her doctor. This kind lady came to Mom’s house and gave us so many resources. One of those resources led us to our Christian realtor. What a precious blessing! Then when the realtor came to mom’s house, because I had a few faith talks with the him previously via phone, I suggested praying before we began discussing the business of selling Mom’s house and so I prayed. At the end of that visit he closed our time with a beautiful prayer for peace and guidance. Then a day-and-a-half after the house went on the market it was sold, what an incredible blessing. And just a few days ago when the realtor delivered the check for the house to mom, he said prior to leaving, “We began this process in prayer, I think we should complete it with prayer too.” And he proceeded to pray with Mom, a meaningful, heartfelt prayer and it meant the world to her.

So very precious is the unfailing love of our God. He truly knew the anguish in our hearts as we worried about selling the house as winter approached. He knew how my need to attempt to control everything would come to a halt as He taught me to begin to learn to abandon control and He has shown His awesomeness through it all!

The Lord helped me to realize so many more ways that He has recently shown His love for me. I am sad to say that in the moment I missed that they were of His unfailing love. They slipped by in my busyness, and I was unaware. But I am changing that too now in this year of recalibrating life. I am beginning to slow down and savor the sweetness of the way He restores my soul. Those little things like an encouraging word from a friend and the bigger ones like an unexpected helping hand from my husband in the midst of my overwhelm. Most recently I have been looking back at His sweetness to me and not always catching onto it in the moment. But since the day this verse made me look for Him, I am growing more aware of how His love touches my life and how He truly does know the anguish of my soul in very real ways.

I have known what a personal God He is, but I have often let it go by only to allow the next thing to discourage me and bring me down. But savoring the sweetness to me means that I taste and see His goodness and don’t set it aside, but instead remember and hold tight to the love He touches my life with. And then along with David I can proclaim that I too am “overcome with joy.”

How are you tasting and seeing the goodness of God? How are you savoring the sweetness of His soul-restoration in your life? It doesn’t have to be so complicated, our faith-walks with the Lord can be simplified in the lingering and savoring. When we take the time to slow down and realize His love He truly will lead us to be overcome with joy. I pray that you will find that to be your experience also! He restores my soul.

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16 thoughts on “Savoring the Sweetness of Soul-Restoration

  1. Your line “They slipped by in my busyness, and I was unaware.” hit me right between the eyes. It describes me all too well. Thank you for the reminder(s) to slow down and listen for God’s whisper.

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  2. He causes me to live or my life to return to me when my spirit is weary or sad very much resonates with me in this current season I’m in. Thank you Cheryl for reminding us of savoring His presence in all of our moments, especially to restore our soul. Happy to stop by from Crystal’s!

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    1. I am so glad that you stopped by! Yes, He is with us through it all. He comforts and encourages us with His constant loving presence. What a very precious blessing.! May He touch your heart and hold you in His tender love.

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  3. How refreshing for this soul this morning! As I age, I am slowing down physically but also want the spiritual slow-down. Little-by-little I am learning. I love it when God teaches me something I had read over many times, completely missing it. Praising Him this day. Thank you.

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    1. Yes, Praise God for being so patient and loving with us. I, too, miss His teachings for my heart . But He is faithful and He works with me helping me to see what He has for me to learn. Right now that is all about lingering and savoring Him and His Word. So glad you stopped by! Many blessings to you as you slow down and abide.

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  4. One of the first couple of times that I came to the land that we are now living on, we would go down to the river, and my heart would think of these verses in Psalm 23. It was a time in my life when I really needed the peace that those still waters brought. We did not live here then, but each time I left feeling restored. I am so blessed to call this place my home now. Thank you for sharing this!

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!

    Blessings,

    Amy

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  5. I love this piece. I’ve been working on this same thing recently, and the verse you discuss here works perfect. I think I am going to repeat it to myself throughout the day because I never considered what it means until you unpacked it right here. Thank you💗

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  6. Beautiful message on God’s unfailing love. I confess, I often miss God’s love while I’m walking through the moments He provides help and care. But I hope hindsight isn’t always my view of God’s love.

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  7. He “causes life to return to me”… I love that. As I pray the 23rd Psalm I have often found a calmness and peace through the words, but your explanation of “He restores my soul” really struck a chord with me today. That is exactly what I need. We have been in the middle of chaos and turmoil for a while now. And, because of that I have been stressed beyond what I ever thought I could be. However, I am trusting God in our circumstances! Now, to remember that He WILL restore my soul and return life to me, I am so encouraged! Thank you for sharing!

    Blessings, Joan

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  8. This is such a sweet and thoughtful post. One that makes you look at your own busyness and the things God is doing in your life that you’re missing because of that busyness. I’m really enjoying following your new journey this year. I shared your post this week on the #LiveLifeWell link up.

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