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He Restores My Soul

I love those words from Psalm 23. Sometimes, my soul gets a little battered and beat up. I need a little soul restoration. Restoration is taking something back to its original form. I've noticed people restore things like cars, furniture and historical buildings.

Me? My heart's a little rusty.

Sometimes I don't take enough care of my precious God-filled heart.

I know when it's time for restoration. Why do I let myself go so far? My passion starts to falter. Discouragement settles in. I question the plans and the purpose for my life. I wonder if there is anyone listening to my cries, and if my dreams are of any value. I focus on myself more than others and bitterness and fear try to break in. My heart, once pumping strong with purpose begins to slow down to a lethargic beat.

Then I remember the Good Shepherd...

There is a quickening.

I run to him.

He restores my soul.

He fills me up.

He goes after each one of his flock.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Not landscapes that are shrivelled up and dying.

There I find rest.

He leads me beside still waters.

Not raging waves filled with fear.  

There I find peace.

And the restoration can begin.

It's a process. You can't restore something overnight. You have to go back to its original form and work from there. But it's worth it to see something as it was intended to be.

I remember my new, fresh heart. My open soul that was so on fire for Jesus, brimming with passion because of the grace it received. The heart that defined all I did and directed all my paths. The heart that didn't lag behind in obligation, but led ahead of me with passion and purpose. At times, it was hard to keep up with myself.

I want that heart back. It's my heart. It's still there, under all the rust and decay.

So, here I am Good Shepherd.

I'm one of your flock.

Receiving your tender care.

Please restore my soul.

Green pastures.

Still waters.

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.