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Happy summer! Last time I wrote—in April—I put before you the idea of developing a “prescription” for your recovery after the year we’ve all been through. My premise was that we have all passed through global trauma, and it has affected us whether we know it or not. We need to look at the months ahead as “rehab” for our souls. You are in rehab.

I suggested you have some conversation with Jesus about his “prescription” for your recovery—especially as it pertains to summer. Hope all that is going well. That you have something of a plan, or at least some guidelines, and that for the most part you are sticking to them day by day. 

This month I’d like to offer more for your restoration and wholeheartedness. 

There is in each of us a capacity I call “Living.” What I mean by this is the deep intentionality we have as human beings to aspire towards things that bring us life, plan towards those things, take hold of them, enjoy them, and start the cycle over as we aspire towards new things. I’ve named this capacity as a whole the drive for Living. 

This capacity, our human functioning in the realm of Living, has taken a real beating over the past year. The chronic disappointments, all those losses great and small, and the inability to make plans for the future throttled the capacity of Living in us, just as chronic rejection hampers your ability for relationship, or how chronic failure harms your capacity for hope. Living needs some care in us.

Now, if you read Get Your Life Back or listened to the podcasts we did around it, or really if you just read this newsletter through 2019-2020, you recall the idea that there are “natural graces” we can take hold of to heal our souls. Things like beauty, detachment, pausing, and dialing back your screen time. (A good bit of my prescription for this summer involves those things.) 

But what I want to do now is suggest a “supernatural grace” that will do great good for healing your capacity for Living.

First, a reminder: Christians are meant to be amphibians; that is to say, we are made to live and move comfortably between two worlds—this natural world, and the supernatural world of the Kingdom of God. Here in the natural world we enjoy the warmth of the sun, the coolness of water, the beauty of music, things like that. But there is a realm all around us filled with the presence of God and supernatural graces we need to learn to tap into. (Prayer, for example, is tapping into the resources of God and his Kingdom.)

Living needs some care in us, and there is a supernatural grace that is perfect for bringing that care and restoration—the River of Life. Stay with me, because this is going to become precious to you.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel was taken into the Kingdom of God and given a number of visions. He saw the temple of God in Jerusalem, and out of the temple was flowing the River of Life. As it flowed forth across the countryside, it became so deep and wide it wasn’t possible to swim across it. A fabulous picture of abundance! But I love how the passage ends: “Where the river flows, everything will live” (Ezekiel 47:9).

In the New Testament, John is given a revelation of the coming Kingdom, and he sees the River of Life flowing right down the middle of the City of God. However, the River is NOT just for “later.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus states very clearly that the River is meant to flow out of our own being:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him” (John 7:37-38). 

Now let me pull this together. We have a capacity in us for Living; it’s a very precious capacity, and it has taken a beating. We are amphibians, so our means of restoration are not just in the natural realm; some of the most powerful graces come from the Kingdom of God. The River of Life is one of those supernatural graces. What I want to suggest is that you pray for the River of Life to flow in and through your capacity for Living—to heal and restore Living in you. Like this:

Jesus, I consecrate to you my capacity for Living. My ability to aspire for good things, plan for them, take hold of them, enjoy them, and keep on aspiring. I consecrate all Living in me to you, Lord, and I ask that the River of Life would flow in me, in the capacity of Living. Let the River flow in and through and all around the capacity of Living in me, restoring, renewing, and healing all Living in me. In your mighty name I pray.

I have found this practice to be absolutely effective and wonderful, so much so that I pray it nearly every day now.

Offered in love,

John

Download the Wild at Heart June 2021 newsletter here
 

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About John

John Eldredge is an author (you probably figured that out), a counselor, and a teacher. He is also president of Wild at Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God's love, and learn to live in God's Kingdom. John met his wife, Stasi, in high school.... READ MORE

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