Do you ever feel just plain tired? Worn out? Like you’re in a dry desert of life? Perhaps you’re feeling the darkness and cold of longer nights if it’s winter, loneliness, confinement, or the longing for something new, an escape from the monotony of the day to day life. You’re not alone. Living through a pandemic intensifies all of our feelings and our exhaustion.
But we’re on a journey. This isn’t the end. We move forward, moment by moment and day by day. And even though we may feel wholly depleted (emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically), with God we are being renewed day by day. (2nd Corinthians 4:16 in my own words)
But maybe even the idea of being renewed seems impossible or tiring to you. Be gentle with yourself. You are worth the time and space it takes to renew your soul, beloved. Try not to expect too much from your weary body, but hope in the promises of God.
Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”
Jeremiah 31:25 ”I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Living as the intricate whole person we were created to be can require renewing our souls in various ways. With any of these ways of renewal, time must be given, even 5 minutes of devoted focus. But none of these renewing activities are required – they are suggestions to be with Jesus, not another thing to add to a list of “to do’s”.
Do you feel thoughts racing through your head constantly? Perhaps it is time to renew your mind. Romans 12 reminds us that we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Every person is created uniquely and mental renewal can look like being quiet, devoting time to process the running thoughts or even learning something new.
To feel like you are in a desert place spiritually can be lonely and sometimes it feels like it may go on for days or years. Reading scripture, specifically the Psalms can help as the words of scripture are a balm for our soul. In John 6:63 Jesus says “the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” Maybe journaling or writing to God is a practice that can give life to you or speaking with a spiritual director or mentor.
I have a friend who says she likes to “schedule a breakdown” every now and again. While I thought it was somewhat amusing at the time, I realized that we need to honor our emotions. If it’s time to cry, cry. If it’s time to laugh, make time to laugh. There is a season for everything under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3) If it’s difficult to feel much through the walls that have been built for safety, take some time to listen to an instrumental piece of music or gaze on a piece of artwork.
One way to connect with God is through enjoying nature. Take a prayer walk, walk a labyrinth or go on a walk where you let go of thoughts and just notice whatever your attention is drawn to. Stretch or do yoga, our bodies are made for movement. Rearrange the space where you live or create beauty in your home by gathering some flowers or greenery and putting them on the counter.
And when you are refreshed, then, refresh someone else and in return, you will also be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25) This is the Kingdom of God in you.
Do you feel tired or exhausted? Perhaps you’re able to pinpoint one part of your whole being where you’d like to refresh. What does that look like for you today?
Perhaps you’ve been in a desert place in the past. What helped you move through that time into a time of abundant life? Take a moment to remember the faithfulness of God.
Feeling stressed? Take a moment to inhale and exhale deeply. Try a breath prayer like this one:
Inhale: You have called me by name Exhale: I am yours