I have often been with people who were downcast. Their soul was burdened and their hopes were diminished. It’s a hard and frustrating place to be, but the good news is that God is in the business of restoring downcast souls!
In Psalm 42:11, the Psalmist cries out: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God…” This is a common human condition, and I dare say most of us have some acquaintance with it. Therefore, as Psalm 23 opens, we are encouraged by the ray of light that enters our darkened world when we read, “The Lord is my shepherd…He restores my soul.”
The word “soul” here is the common Hebrew word nephesh, and refers to the inner person – the “real you” that lives inside your body.
Now we all know that the physical body needs to be restored on a daily basis, which is why we sleep at night and take periodic breaks in our work. But it’s also true that our soul needs to be restored regularly. Our emotional make-up can be stressed and frazzled, our spiritual well-being can come to the point of utter exhaustion, and dealing with life’s difficulties and problems can put us on the edge mentally.
At the beginning of the year 2000, I came to that point in my own life. I had been pushing the schedule, dealing with stressful situations, and coping with serious overload, and my soul had become cast down. I had a minor stroke, and my mental screen went fuzzy. I had neglected a major aspect of my humanness. My soul needed daily restoration. Well, I’m back on track again, and doing well. And every day I go to the Lord and let Him restore my soul.
Say – Don’t go nuts! Spend time with Jesus every day and let Him restore your soul.