What are two practical ways that we can find nourishment when we are spiritually tired or discouraged?
Ever eat a good meal and just feel ‘nourished’? Some lean chicken, steamed carrots and broccoli, a fresh salad with a little bit of dressing and a piece of freshly baked, homemade, whole wheat bread. It’s not the most filling or the fanciest, but it’s what you’re supposed to eat...what your body needs.
How do you find that kind of nourishment for your soul?
I’m talking about the person you are... without the body. The person God knew (and loved) before He put skin on you. The person who will survive death and live forever somewhere.
There are two ways to nourish your soul. There may be more than two, but these two I know to exist and work.
Worshiping God nourishes the soul. Can’t explain it, but it does. The words of worship are familiar... easy to remember but somehow hard to say. We get most of them from David and the Psalms. “Lord, I love you. I worship you. You are the great 'I am'. You are King of Kings… Lord of Lords. I worship you, Lord. You alone are worthy of worship. I praise you God for your greatness, your goodness, your mercy.”
Whether you’re around others or alone, pouring out those words from your heart in genuine worship nourishes the soul.
And singing is a huge part of worship. I’m drawn to songs sung to God rather than about God. I’m even less drawn to songs we sing telling each other how great God is. Why not tell Him yourself? I have a playlist with seven songs of worship and praise. I sing those songs like a lunatic, and my soul gets nourished every time.
Test me here. Put together a playlist of your favorite praise and worship songs (or a c.d. if you’re old school). Put it in your car and sing your way to work tomorrow. Sing to God. Don’t worry about who’s looking or what they’re thinking. Praise Him big time, then come back and comment on this post. Tell us if it didn't nourish your soul. I double-dog dare you!
The other way to nourish your soul is to do something for someone else. When I forget about my “to do” list and help someone, something changes inside me. Maybe its because we feel good about ourselves when we do the right thing. Maybe it’s because we’re emulating Jesus. Maybe it’s because we’re doing what He told us to “consider others more important than yourself.” I can’t explain why, but it happens. When I serve someone… when I put their needs first and act, my soul gets nourished.
And the needier that the person you help is, the more it nourishes your soul.
To check this out, find the nursing home closest to where you live. Go there and ask if you can visit with the person who has the least visitors and family. Sit down and talk to that person. Just listen. Attend to them. Be there “in the moment” for an hour. Just give love with your eyes and ears.
Or go to your spouse and ask this question, ”Honey, what can I do to help you?” Then, whatever she says, do it. Don’t ask for praise. Don’t trade for anything. Just serve her. Keep tabs on your soul and watch how its pulse rate will tick up.
So, when you feel burned out… when your soul feels tired, give it nourishment.