I was really frustrated. I mean REALLY. I'm not quite sure what was going on. All I know is that I was pregnant, it was hot, I was dealing with some stupid drama and like any good daughter, I called my momma!
"Take care of your soul, Katrina", was her one and only advice to me. "What does your soul need in order to regain peace?" I want to ask you the same thing.
Too many of us get so caught up in the frustrating uncontrollable issues of life. We can loose ourselves ... the very core of who God created us to be. Our spirits are redeemed by our salvation in Christ, but our souls - the essence of who we are- can sometime endure some unhealthy trauma and if we are not careful, we could allow the cares of this life to weigh so heavy on us that we become different people.
Bible scholars list that the soul refers to the self, the heart and personality; the very essence of a person and as we live and experience and endure various aspects of life, if we are not casting our cares on the Lord and instead harboring the weight of our worries, frustrations, conflicts and disappointments, we could find ourselves growing cold instead of growing strong.
"But God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind"
- 2 Timothy 1:7
Our spirits and souls come from God and He desires that we keep ourselves healthy. We're familiar with the diets and exercise trends, but our bodies aren't eternal. They won't live on forever. So maybe we should begin to focus more on cultivating, sculpting and strengthening the parts of ourselves that will last forever. Jesus said, "and whoever lives and believe in me will never die", John 11:26.
Yes, we only have one life to live here on this earth, but there is another life to follow and it's one that requires preparation now. So we must take care of our souls. We must be sure to not ignore or neglect our opportunity to invest in it. And how is this done? Well, simply put, by trusting in Jesus.
"Cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you" -1 Peter 5:7
Caring for our souls really means placing our trust in the One who created our souls. When I lean on the Lord instead of getting swept away by my circumstances, I can live a life of peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). So, simply put, caring for our soul means that we draw on God at all levels—mentally, emotionally, relationally, physically, and spiritually. It means to be able to truly be yourself, as God made you, in ways that put Him first so that we can experience the freedom and abundance He's offering us in Jesus. This allows us to willingly and happily pour into others out of a full heart, not from obligation or ulterior motives.
Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently.”
So let's be diligent and do some soul checking. Consider some of these questions and ask yourself, is there a need for me to put more trust in God in this area so that my soul is less weighed down and I am more free to love and live in the abundance of God's eternal love for me and for others?
Is my joy based on how I feel or based on Who I'm serving?
Am I coming to God for instructions on how to please Him or am I always requesting what will please me?
When things aren't going my way, do I find myself feeling hopeless, irritable or unkind?
Do I have true friendships -friends that will tell me the truth in love and not just what they think I want to hear? Friends who love me enough to offend me if it means helping me to live in harmony with God and with myself?
When did I last laugh until my face hurt? How do I have fun? Do I play? Do I have anyone to play with?
Am I doing what God has assigned? Or do I run myself ragged trying to meet the expectations of others as well as my own?
Jesus is the lover of our souls and He desires to use us for His glory. When we live with a healthy and well-tended soul, we can operate in trust in God, love for others and peace within ourselves. It's not always easy and we all have moments when our hearts are so distracted by what we are experiencing that we are unable or sometimes unwilling to trust God with the cares of our hearts. It's true and there's no way around it. But God is still in control! He loves us and it's His love for us that makes Him so trustworthy. When we have faith and believe that we truly can cast all our cares upon Him, we will soon be able to declare, just as the song, "It is well with my soul".
Live well and trust God!