GUEST POST: HE RESTORES MY SOUL
It is my joy to share this post from author and guest blogger Jennifer Perez,
Feeling stressed? Anxious? Fearful?
(Both my hands and a foot are raised. Anybody else?)
I think it’s safe to say that most of us these days are struggling in some way or another. We need hope. We need truth. We need joy. And we need peace.
Like now, please.
In this season of anxiety, fear, and stress the Lord put on my heart to write a devotional designed to address these three very real and sometimes constant companions with the truth and hope of God’s Word. I’m excited to share this excerpt from my newly released 40-day devotional called She Laughs: A 40-Day Journey to a Heart Filled with Joy and Peace. My heart in writing this devotional is that as you dive deeply into God’s Word, you will experience a deeper joy and peace than perhaps you ever have before.
So with that little introduction, let’s look at Day 5 of the Devotional! You’ll notice that the day is broken down into several sections (most of the days of the Devotional follow this pattern):
Search My Heart: a time for you to write out everything on your mind that is causing you stress, anxiety, or fear
Scripture for the day: the most important part of each day!
Devotional: a short commentary on the Scripture
Meditation: a way to think deeply and intently on that day’s Bible verse (several meditation styles are used throughout this Devotional)
Reflect: ask yourself, “How does this apply to me today?”
Pray: a prayer thanking God for that day’s truth and asking him to help impress it on your heart and put it into practice
Let’s dive into Day 5!!
Search My Heart
(Really pause and take a moment to think about what is on your heart and mind. If you have a notepad or sheet of paper, jot down all of the things that come to mind.)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23:1-3a, ESV
One of my friends recently moved to Nashville from Houston, and they bought the most charming home on a couple of acres of land. Behind their home is a field lush with green grass. There are trees that line the back of the property, and a stream of crystal clear water has carved its way along the treeline.
Looking at pictures of her new property, I feel so at peace. I imagine what it would be like to lie down next to the stream in a hammock, read a couple of chapters of a good book, and gently fall asleep, fully at rest. Ahhh, that sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Sweet friend, this is what the Good Shepherd offers our weary souls. While it may not be a physical place (yet), he leads us into the green pastures of his heart and the still waters of his peace. When you need a break from the chaos of your world, it is by his grace that you finally rest and give him your burdens, your chaos, and your worries. He lovingly and graciously restores your soul as a good Shepherd cares for his flock.
Pull out your phone or computer. In your browser, go to images.google.com and type in the search box “field beside a stream.” Look through the images that pop up. Find the one that looks the most relaxing, calming, and restful. Reread Psalm 23:1-3a, imagining the Good Shepherd leading you to that pasture and that stream and refreshing your soul.
(How does this verse apply to you today?)
(You can pray silently, out loud, or by writing down your prayer.)
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from my Devotional!! I hope that even this little peek helped you feel more peace and joy!
Pressing on in faith, Jennifer
Jennifer lives in Houston, TX with her husband Mace and 2 children and daily misses her baby in Heaven. You can find her on Facebook @theencouragingmomblog and on Instagram @theencouragingmom.
She Laughs: A 40-Day Journey to a Heart Filled with Joy and Peace is an interactive devotional guide written to help you place your cares, worries, and fears into God’s loving hands. Throughout this devotional, you will engage with God’s Word using a variety of creative meditation styles that will allow his Word to sink deep into your heart, mind, and soul. You will also have opportunities to reflect on who God is, how you see him moving in your life, and how you can apply his Word each day.
As you work through this devotional, you will learn how to turn to God in complete dependence and trust. And when you do, you will experience true joy and peace in the days to come! Order book here