In 2019, our family of four moved two hours away from our hometown—leaving friends, family, and familiarity behind. During this transition, we also celebrated the graduation of our firstborn from high school.
Later in the year, my daddy was diagnosed with terminal cancer and went to be with Jesus three short months later.
The pain, the change, and the heavy grief were still raw when 2020 opened its doors to us.
As we navigated viruses, canceled plans, masks, prejudice, and elections, I felt the weight and weariness within me grow to a tipping point.
Maybe you can relate?
I found myself seeking ways to numb and soothe my strung-out soul. Everything from getting dressed to another zoom call felt like too much some days.
In the searching, I turned to the one place I consistently find hope—if I am willing to look—the Word of God.
Jesus is always near and makes Himself easy to find, doesn’t He?
As soon as I started my walk through the book of John, I saw evidence of how Jesus Himself needed and sought refreshment (Jn 4:6-7).
I also saw His generous offer to extend His refreshment to us (Jn 7:37-38).
As I spent time soaking my soul in the Word, five practices that bring replenishment surfaced and invited me to partake.
I am excited to share the result of my soul-satisfying study with you today. I hope these simple principles help you replenish your weary soul.Here are five biblical practices that will bring refreshment and help you replenish your weary soul.
1 – Replenish your soul through gratitude.
Practicing gratitude helps us reorient our minds towards a right perspective.
Refocusing our minds on what we are thankful for comforts our hearts and brings a sense of refreshment we can’t find elsewhere.Refocusing our minds on what we are thankful for comforts our hearts and brings a sense of refreshment we can’t find elsewhere.
Gratitude always draws us nearer to God.
In Luke 17, we see ten lepers healed by Jesus. Which one gets to touch Jesus and thus draw the nearest to Him?
It was the one who returned, giving Him thanks.
He got to touch the very feet of Jesus and receive spiritual healing as Jesus spoke salvation over him (Lk 17:19).
Soul-Refreshing Action Step: Write a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for right now. Pause and thank God for the gift of that blessing in your life, big or small, and begin to draw near to Him.
2 – Revitalize your weary soul through nature.
Psalm 19 offers a parallel of two arrows that point us to the Lord. One is God’s Word, and the other is nature.
Spending time in creation quiets our hearts and draws us to stillness as we see the hand of our Creator around us in tangible ways.
The heavens above us declare His glory and remind us Who is in control.
Especially in hard seasons, we need to remind our souls of this truth. Stepping outside the door for a brief moment to inhale just might be the balm your soul is craving.
Soul-Refreshing Action Step: Take five minutes to step outside and replenish your weary soul. Close your eyes and inhale deeply. Let your soul feel the beauty of the Creator around you, whether it is sunny, cold, rainy. Just absorb the moment through your senses.
3 – Refresh your soul through silence.
Hard seasons seem to bring too much noise with them—from both external and internal sources.
The year we moved and my dad died, it seemed that the loudest, most overwhelming sounds came from my own mind.
When we practice silence, we invite God to speak into our circumstances.
Jesus often stepped away from the noise to spend time alone with the Father.
In Mark 6:46, we see Him leave His disciples to go up the mountain and pray.
He went alone; He craved the silence.
When I embrace silence, I create space to lay my cares at my Heavenly Father’s feet.When I embrace silence, I create space to lay my cares at my Heavenly Father’s feet.
Only then can I sit—soaking in the silence, listening to the peace and stillness—because I’ve reminded myself who is in control of my chaos.
ActSoul-Refreshing Action Step: What do you need to do to create space for silence and practice quieting your mind in the presence of God? Make a plan to enjoy the stillness and security that comes as rest at the feet of your Father.
4 – Restore your weary soul through fasting.
Denying ourselves and being refreshed seem to be polar opposites. We tend to think that refreshment comes by filling up and getting what we crave—until we try it.
Leaving a restaurant after a heavy meal never feels refreshing. Overeating often leaves us lethargic.
When life got difficult, Jesus fasted (Mt 4:2). When the need for spiritual refreshment came, Jesus abstained from worldly things to fill up on spiritual things.
Fasting and prayer prepared and refreshed Christ for the ministry assignments He received from the Father.
Soul-Refreshing Action Step: What might you abstain from—even for a day—to refresh your soul by setting your mind on things that are above (Col 3:2)? Use the opportunity to turn away from the world and turn towards the Word and prayer instead.
5- Reengage your soul through Bible study.
In God’s Word and through His Presence, we find the satisfaction we crave and the refreshment we need.
Jesus knew the promise of Jeremiah 31:25 ESV, “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
This is why He made the Word of God a priority in His earthly life and ministry.
In a hard season of marriage, I remember holding God to this promise as I sat waiting for my boys while they were in their karate class.
I opened my Bible to the Psalms and began reading them aloud to my soul. One Psalm after another, I told my soul the Truth.
Sometimes we just need to hear the Truth over the lies and fears in our own minds.
My soul was strengthened by the time my boys piled back into the car after their lesson, and I felt the refreshment of that hour in a nearly tangible way.
Reminding our weary souls Who is in control brings more healing and hope than we realize.Reminding our weary souls Who is in control brings more healing and hope than we realize.
Soul-Refreshing Action Step: Take ten minutes and read a few Psalms aloud. Or pop in earbuds and let an app wash His Word over you in a fresh way.
We cannot discount the weight of a weary soul.
Taking a few moments to implement gratitude, spend time in nature, enjoy a moment of silence, abstain from worldly cravings, and feast on the Word just might be the balm your soul has been craving.
David himself had to remind his soul where to put his hope. In Psalm 42:11 ESV, he said to himself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
I encourage you to join me in these five practices to replenish your weary soul. I am confident that God will replenish and restore you as you follow these biblical principles.
As a former atheist, Mariel Davenport was saved by reading the Word of God. She has since spent over twenty years studying and teaching God’s Word. She desires to inspire women to know the Word for themselves and tend their way according to its Truth. On her blog, Mariel candidly shares the joys and struggles of tending her way by the Word in everyday life. She recently released an e-book entitled 30 Days to Communing with God: Reading, Unpacking and Practicing Biblical Prayers. You can also connect with Mariel on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.