Updated: Mar 15, 2020
This week I have been sick. It’s that kind of sickness that you think you’re fine but then you try to do anything relatively active and need an hour nap afterward. Like I walked to the kitchen to get a snack today and I had to sit down. I have been exhausted, cranky, not been able to talk, and have had to go to school anyway. Has anyone else noticed that once you get to high school, sick days just disappear? Because of this, my spirits have been down. If you know me, you know I’m a mostly optimistic person but when I get down it could take a few days to go back to normal.
Anyway, this week I have had to go through life as usual with the first round of illness since the disappearance of sick days and it has been rough. First off, I was so bad off that I missed a day early in the week, meaning lots of make up work to do in my spare time (spare time has also gone missing). Then my English class had a debate, I hadn’t been able to talk without coughing for four days at that point and we got graded off of participation. All of this is compiling, making it hard to improve.
This week was also the beginning of Lent. A time of penance and examining the impact of faith in your life. Lent is when people sacrifice something common in their life or add something to their day to express and strengthen their faith. I have participated in this tradition since I was a little girl. The thing I always remember is the struggle of the last week, the mental battle to keep my promise to the end. The feeling of failure has never sat right with me, so I would begrudgingly finish the week with no shortage of complaining.
These two events made me think of when our soul gets “sick”. We argue for seemingly no reason, we complain like my last-week-of-lent younger self, we don’t treat our neighbors like we should (like my present sick self). We lose sight of what is important. Sometimes we lose patience with our neighbors and sometimes, sometimes we lose patience with God.
In these times, when we couldn’t care less about anyone or anything, is the most important time to reflect. Try to see God’s great work in your everyday life instead of looking for what is missing.
I have been reading through Psalms and found the suggested scripture for this devotion last week. It impacted me on so many levels. The first verse starts the whole chapter off on a reassuring promise: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (ESV). The Lord is your provider and the Lord will provide. The Psalmist goes on to describe how God provides for us, taking us to “green pastures” and leading us to “still waters”, to times of peace and prosperity in verse 2.
Verse 3 is my personal favorite in this chapter and my main point for today’s devotion. “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (ESV). That’s pretty profound, don’t you think? God cares enough about you to restores your soul. God cares enough about you, and your sister, and Shelia down the hall, and everyone around the world to restore all our souls. Even when we get down into our times of soul sickness, God will be there, waiting for us, for the time we are willing to go to Him to restore our souls. And it doesn’t end there. Not only does He restore each and every one of us, but God will also lead you, me, and Sheila to righteousness, to the life God wants us to live. This could happen at six or sixteen or sixty but God will restore your soul and lead you to His intended purpose for your life. The only stipulation is, like in Matthew 7:7, you must ask. You must initiate, then you will receive.