When God doesn’t “restore your soul” immediately

My family traveled to the mountains for Mother’s Day weekend.  When I looked at the rental website, I saw a cottage that was by a lake.  The pictures looked so peaceful and my overwhelmed soul longed for the peace that I saw in the lakeside beauty.  I quickly made a deposit and signed the rental agreement.   And then I looked forward with anticipation to sit by the tranquil lakeside, longing for the peace that it possessed.

“He leads me by still waters.  He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2

restore your soul

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, I woke up in that Lakeside Cottage.  It was cold and windy, but I was determined to absorb the peace of the quiet waters so that my soul would be restored. I bundled up in my flannel jammies, grabbed my Bible and a blanket, and trudged down the steep path to the lakeside dock.

restore your soul

I sat down on the swaying, weathered dock and read the 23rd Psalm.

“He leads me by still waters.  He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2

I waited, and nothing happened.  I laid down on my blanket, absorbing the warmth of the sun and hearing the song on the birds.  And still, my heart felt broken.  I put my head down on the dock, listening to the lapping water and feeling the dock move with the water.  There was no change.  Nothing happened.

I prayed fervently for peace to enter my beleaguered soul, but I still felt the pain of a broken heart.  I begged God to restore my soul by those quiet waters, and I waited, but I felt no different.  I had rented this pricey mountain cabin by a beautiful lake hoping that through its tranquility my heart would be restored, and I began to feel disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen.

That is when a surprising prayer rose up in me.  I wasn’t angry or disappointed or impatient, but surrendered.  “God, Your Word says that Your grace is sufficient for me, and Your power is perfected in my weakness.  If I can better serve You in my brokenness, then leave me broken.”

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As I sat by the lakeside with the sun warming my face and the song of the birds filling my ears, I was still broken, but I had hope.  God’s grace would be sufficient for me and His power would be perfected in my weakness.  And in my weakness and brokenness, God would use me to minister to the weak and broken.

I came to the lakeside longing for God to fix the hurt in my soul.  I left the lakeside longing to be used by God to fix the hurt in others.

Today you may find yourself needing to be led beside quiet waters and for your soul to be restored as well.  You may be like me, searching for some thing, some place, or somebody that could “fix” your broken heart and restore your tattered soul.  But there is no place, no activity, no substance, or no person that can heal your broken heart. Only God can.

But perhaps, He might choose to leave you broken and weak for a while, just like the Apostle Paul, so that He could use you powerfully.  Perhaps God needs a broken person just like you to minister to other broken people.  His Word promises that when you are weak, that is when you are strong.  And I believe that like me, in your brokenness, you will discover hope.

…“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

What about you?  Do you long for your soul to be restored?  Send me an email or leave me a comment and let me know.  It would be an honor to pray for you.


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