referencing The Lord is my Shepherd…
To restore means to bring back, to return something to former condition, to repair or renovate to original condition. A prayer of restoration insinuates that your soul was previously in a better condition than it is right now.
In this context, soul refers to the seat of our emotions; the real ‘you’ when no one else is watching; the part of you that weighs a situation and makes decisions based on what you know and how you feel about the situation. It is the part of you that gets downcast and discouraged. It is the part of you that feels emotionally fatigued. It is the part of you that gets devastated when a relationship comes to an end: the proverbial “broken heart”. It is the part of us that longs, that desires, that hopes. I am not talking about the part of you that will give account of your existence before God’s righteous throne. That’s for another day…
The psalmists experienced so many highs and lows in their lives which the expressed in song:
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?
My tears have been my food day and night while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”…
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? … Psalm 42:1-5 NIV
The anguish of the psalmist is almost palpable. This is a soul in need of restoration! I examine my life and I realize I am in this situation very often. Always making decisions: Should I or should I not?; Do I or do I not?; Can I or can’t I?… Oh! it is exhausting! Sometimes it feels like my life is spinning out of control because of the decisions and responsibilities I have. Even when everything is going well.. there is always more to be done and it is exhausting!
But our Shepherd has the ability to still it all and reset the button. He knows when you have had enough. Look back into your life. Was there ever a time you felt you were in this emotional vortex, this pit (heartbreak, divorce, miscarriage, death of a loved one, loss of a job, etc.) that you thought you’d never be able to recover from? Well, if you are looking back, and trying to remember a time like that in your life, that means you got over it! I know people say time heals all wounds but that’s not true.
It is the One who has time in His hands, our Shepherd, who heals all wounds! He restores our souls. He resets our emotions so that the good times in life are not colored by the bad. He is the reason we can enjoy life in spite of!
But don’t forget the preamble…The Lord is my Shepherd. People without a shepherd-sheep relationship more often than not wallow in hopelessness. They don’t have the privilege of having their souls restored. So when life beats down on them over and over again, it gets too much and the way out of the hopelessness is usually suicide to end it all!
Dear Reader, how blessed it is to know the LORD and to call him your Shepherd! He gives hope and anchors this hope in Himself so it is immovable and unshakable even when life is harsh. He restores our souls.