How do you replenish your soul and spirit when life is hectic or you feel parched? Yesterday, in the middle of printing deadlines for not one but three commencement programs, with a cacophony of contradictory and critical voices ringing in my ears, I took a walk at lunchtime to de-stress.
There’s nothing unusual in that, but the meandering path I followed was a new one. Just a few blocks from my workplace, I found myself lost on country-looking roads enshrined with lush green trees (no place but the South in spring has such a fresh and vibrant green) and shocking fuchsia azaleas. A little park, one that I never knew existed until that moment, called to me. I obediently wandered in and perched on a bench beside a tiny creek, under the shade of spreading branches.
My spirit drank in the peacefulness of the spot as the Lord whispered his words to me, calming my angst and cutting through the confusion:
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Ps. 23:2-3
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isa. 58:11
Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. John 7:38
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30
His easy yoke pulls us in the direction of giving back, of pouring ourselves out. Once we are filled to overflowing with God’s peace and love and joy, we aren’t meant to keep it to ourselves. We spill over to others, providing them the shade and nourishment that their souls crave.
Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Prov. 11:25
The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. Isa. 37:11
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Ps. 42:1-2
How are you getting your spirit replenished? Where do you go to meet with God?