“My people have committed two sins: they have turned from Me the living water and dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13
As I finally am able to wind down from a three week whirlwind of mission trips and beach camp, I have learned to take a moment to not only debrief what I saw, but to evaluate the condition of my soul. Ironically, my actual sole is experiencing some serious pain. As cheesy as it may seem, today I am trying to access the pain of my spiritual soul just like my doctor did for me yesterday. He prescribed R-I-C-E but replaced ice with immobilization. So the prescription is as follows: REST-IMMOBILIZATION-COMPRESSION-ELEVATION…along with some serious steroids to get my swelling under control.
So what happened to get this prescription? One of the main connectors of all things tendons was so tight from some hill running I had done, that it was on brink of snapping. I was unaware of how close to damaging this tendon I had come, and I kept pushing it beyond it’s capacity to give. I wanted so badly to keep running…keep walking…keep doing, that I didn’t realize the danger I was literally walking into. I started numbing myself to the pain and pushing past it. I was ignoring the very signs that God had given my body to know when to stop. Now, I’m in a boot with a three week sabbatical from running. I have to be still in order to heal.
Now how does this apply to our soul care? Well just like in Jeremiah 2:13 we have the tendency to turn from the One thing that can fill us up and then try to make our own wells in our own power. We start serving out of the overflow of Him, but sometimes if we’re not careful, we begin serving out of the overflow of us…and that’s never pretty. And before too long, our well runs dry.
So here is the prescription for some soul care today:
REST...I know. You are soooo busy! Shut-up. Really. I know I said the S word, but you need to hear this. You have my permission to get away for at least a half day. You have to do this. Schedule time where you are away from people, physically and digitally.
IMMOBILIZE…This is important as well. Make time to BE STILL and know that He is God. This is key to soul care because it reminds us that He is God and we are not. We can easily slip into a Messiah complex if we fail to make time to Be Still apart from creating, producing, teaching, etc ALL IN HIS NAME. Somehow we forget that we’re doing it for Him and we start doing it for us. And then our soul shrivels up within us as we work for our glory and not His.
COMPRESSION...This is often overlooked in injury care. You apply mild compression so it will help to prevent the swelling to move into other areas and keep it more localized. If swelling is allowed to dissipate and move, it will often have an a negative effect on the range of motion of the injured area. So how does this apply to soul care? This is the “Search my heart, Lord” prayer that you apply to your heart. This prayer is often times painful as you invite God to press in on the areas of your heart that have been left untouched. There may be bitterness, or hate, or jealousy, or lust that has been allowed to grow and swell within your heart. There are actually two parts to this compression regimen. Not only do you pray and invite God to search your heart, but you go to a safe person and ask what things they are seeing in the overflow of your life. Use these questions to prompt conversation:
Are there obsessions that you have seen evidence of?
Are there people, places, or things, that I have given disproportionate priority to in light of the life I have given to Christ?
Is there bitterness, hatred, jealousy, lust, apathy…etc that you have seen crop up in my life recently that has not been addressed?
Do you see evidence of God at work in my life, through my life? If so, how? If not, why?
ELEVATION is the last part of your soul care prescription. Spend time with your soul offered to Him in worship. Whether that’s hiking/running/driving/ singing/praying…return to a soul position where you are focused upward and not centered on you.
Just some thoughts as I return from a time of soul depletion. Hope it helps.
Get some RICE!