Sunday, March 12, 2017
He Restores My Soul by Ruth Smith Meyer
“A time when you felt restored (invigorated, revitalized, refreshed) by God.”
That is the question I was asked to speak about to start our lent five-minute sharing.
There are so many times I have felt God restoring my soul, my strength, my vision. I hardly knew where to start. Maybe I could mention a few ways God uses to restore me. I thought I would also pass them on to you.
First of all—nature often restores my soul.
A beautiful sunrise or sunset,
the mountains and hills,
a wooded path
a body of water,
or fallen leaf
...bring me a sense of peace and wonder at how God created such intricate beauty.
If he cares for nature, he surely cares for me.
Then my soul is, once more, restored.
I often feel God’s restoration through other people. Just about a week ago, I had a desolate Wednesday night, feeling very alone. I awoke Thursday morning still feeling that way.
I barely got dressed when the doorbell rang. I hastened to answer and there was Simon, my neighbour.
“Neighbourhood Watch!” he announced with a grin. “Laurie, our neighbour across the road asked if I’d come to check on you. Your garbage bin was still at the road from yesterday morning and your garage door was open all night. We just wanted to make sure you were all right.”
I felt very embarrassed that I had left the door open all night, but what a good feeling to know my neighbours were watching out for me. I felt it was a definite sign from God that He too, was watching me. I wasn’t as alone as I felt.
I often feel God restoring my soul through His word. Many portions do so, but one of my favourites—parts of the first four verses of Isaiah 43. I read them years ago, the morning after our barn fire. I read them after my first husband Norman’s diagnosis of cancer and again after my second husband Paul’s diagnosis, I read them after the loss of my job and when Paul’s pain seemed almost unbearable. I read them when I didn’t know how much more I could handle. Those words always comfort me and restore my soul.
This is what it says: “But now the Lord who created you says: Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, your Savior, you are precious to me and honored, and I love you.”
Another way I am restored is through what I can only name as dreams or visions. For instance, one morning after Norman died and I was overwhelmed at all the things I now had to do on my own, and how many years I may have to live that way, I called out with tears to God and cried, “Oh God, I know you know what is going on here. I do trust you but I just can’t understand how you think I can manage without Norman. I just don’t understand, God, I just don’t understand!”
Then I had a very real sense of arms around me, of being lifted up into God’s lap and I heard his tender empathy for me, his understanding whisper as a parent to a child, “I KNOW you don’t understand.”
And somehow, my willing surrender to trust, my absolute faith in my Heavenly Father was fully restored.
These are just a few ways I have felt God restoring me. Looking back, it seems that to feel revitalized and refreshed, I need to pause and take time to listen, to really hear and feel, in order to receive that restoration.
Ruth Smith Meyer presses onward through life as she writes, speaks and lives day-to-day. She is pleased to have been part of the newly released anthology, Good Grief People, published by Angel Hope Publishers.
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