Every day is filled with them. From the cereal we have for breakfast to the clothes we wear to how we will treat the people we meet, each day is filled with choices. Our choices determine our attitudes, our actions, and our thoughts.
Choices to a very large extent determine the direction of our days. We can choose to give our best at work and our love at home. We can choose to cultivate an attitude either of gratitude or of selfishness. We can see either the silver lining or the clouds. The choice is ours.
Choice affects our walk of faith. We can choose to seek God and find his reward (Heb 11:6), or we can choose to keep him distant. We also can make choices that invite his peace into our lives. It is some of these choices to which we will turn our attention in the last eight days of this devotional series.
“My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.”
Many weary souls tread the streets of this earth. You can see them as they walk—stoop-shouldered, lethargic, discouraged, and frightened. To these experiences the psalmist adds the soul wearied by sorrow.
There are many reasons why hearts are sorrowful. Sometimes our hearts are sorrowful for our sin. We grieve sinful choices and actions that have violated our conscience and wounded others. Other times our hearts experience sorrow over a loss of someone or something dear to us. We may have lost hope because a dream we held dear has been removed from possibility. We may have said goodbye to a close friend or coworker who has moved to another part of the world. They leave a gap in our lives where they once were. We experience sorrow on many levels, and our sorrow saps us of strength.
It is for this loss of vitality that the psalmist invokes God’s strengthening. He says to God, “Strengthen me as you have promised.” He implies, “As your word says, renew my soul.” He cries, “Renew my vigor, that was lost in the process of grief.” The Psalmist knows where to go to refresh his soul, wearied by the dragging griefs of life. He goes to God; he claims God’s promises and waits for the Lord to stand by what he has said. He knows the Lord is his source of renewal.
What griefs are dragging your soul toward a state of weariness? Make the choice to meditate on the words of scripture. Discipline yourself to read the Word of God, memorize it, let it soak you’re your mind and heart. Remember the promises of God for renewal and strengthening. “They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV). This promise stands for those who are weary from grieving. Are you among them?
Prayer starter: Lord, I am grieved by many things. My losses both recent and distant, my sin, both intentional and unintended, have weighed my soul with weariness. Lift me up by your grace. I wait on you.
About the Author: Lyndon Wall served as a pastor in Alberta, Canada for fourteen years. He has also served the Jos, Nigeria mission community by providing pastoral care. Lyndon is the founder of Refresh Ministries, which is dedicated to helping people in ministry enjoy “healthy souls.” Lyndon earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
This excerpt is from Lyndon’s devotional book “Refresh“. Lyndon wrote “Refresh“ specifically for pastors, missionaries, and ministry workers whose souls have been parched by the stresses and tests of life. Stress is a reality of life. It can harm and drain us of vital energy. It must be responded to wisely. This devotional book was written to help you encounter Jesus Christ, the great refresher of the soul and give insights that will help you live with a renewed and joyful heart.