The Soul Cries Out…

…for rest…for peace…for joy…for love…
…for hope….for security…for contentment…

It desires a place that when examined nothing intangible is lacking.

Paradise.

Yes, our soul longs for paradise.  It longs to be in that place where God resides in all His glory.  Where there is no sorrow, no strife.  No tears are shed in paradise. No worries there either.  Joy and praise are at the very top of the list of ‘things to experience and do’.

serenity

Ohhh…but here comes the ‘worm in the apple’, the ‘fox in the henhouse’, the ‘bitter in the sweet’.  We are not there yet!

Life has a funny way of showing up and destroying any or all of the things our soul desires at one point or another if we allow it.

One of my favorite Psalms is number 42.  The first two verses I really love:

1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?

But as you read down through the verses there are three references to the soul being downcast, being disturbed.  Ring any bells in your day – your life.  It does in mine.

We all have ‘issues’ at one point or another in our life.  There are always going to be moments where we wonder if we are going nuts or if it is the world around us.  What we have to do to when our soul cries out is make sure we turn to our Lord.

Psalm 42 also says in verses 5 and 11 –

Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Sometimes it’s not easy, sometimes it’s not what we want to do, sometimes it goes against everything we feel ~ BUT it is always the right thing to do.  No doubt about it.  Praising our God will help our souls to rest in Him, to love Him more, and to be more content in whatever place we are in the moment.

God is an awesome God!  He loves each one of us more than we can imagine or know!  He is the lover of our soul!  Only He can quiet all the negative ‘stuff’ we can be bombarded with.  He is our ABSOLUTE!

Lonely is Raw…

I was 33 years old when I began attending the University of Arizona.  Older than most.  Married with 2 children.  Not your typical University student.

lonely

I can honestly say in all my years, this was the loneliest place I had ever been.  Surrounded by hundreds of people but not fitting in.  Listening to snippets of conversation but never talking.  Understanding the reasons I wasn’t ‘included’ but still feeling left out.

Have you ever been in that place?  Does it ring a bell?

Now, I’m not talking about being alone.  Sometimes I just really love to be by myself.  But did you realize you can feel lonely even if you’re around people you know?  Even if you’re laughing, talking, having a good time?  You can be lonely when all the world around you think you have it all together.  It’s an internal emotion ~ a feeling and can be one of the most terrifying, oppressive feelings you can have.

Here’s the point I am getting to – if you start to feel all of these ‘yucky’ feelings.  If the ‘inside’ of you begins to feel lonely, depressed, oppressed, or terrified just remember ~ if you are a child of God, you really are never alone.

Paul said it best:  “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-10.

I know…sometimes you just want some ‘skin’ on Jesus.  You would really like to see Him with your eyes.  You just want to be able to reach out and touch Him.  How do I know this?  Because I have felt the same way.

Well right now, His skin is the Bible.  If negative emotions begin to creep into your life, get in His word.  Let Jesus comfort you in that way.  Listen to what He has to say.  Surround yourself with people who believe they way you do.  Find at lease one person you can trust to tell what you’re feeling, what you’re going through.  Don’t let your emotions, your feelings keep you isolated.

And if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, ask Him into your heart.  Ask Him to forgive your sins and dwell in you and keep you.  He will replace the ‘lonely’ feeling with His love and peace.  There is nothing in this world better than that!

One of my favorite verses is found in Joshua 1:9 and I think it fits rather well in this little piece.

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

He is with us no matter what.  He loves us.  He gives us comfort and peace.  He takes the loneliness away ~ if we let Him.

Relief for loneliness is spelled ~ JESUS!