God wants to come to us and restore our lives. He really does. But if our soul is not well, it’s almost impossible to receive him. Dry, scorched ground can’t absorb the very rain it needs.

As C. S. Lewis explained, “The soul is but a hollow which God fills.”  In place of hollow I like the word vessel, something beautiful and artistic. Our souls are exquisite vessels created by God for him to saturate. I picture the round, curved basin at the top of an elegant fountain, with water spilling down all sides, running over with unceasing life. Wasn’t that the promise? “As Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

And so it follows that if we can receive help for restoring and renewing our weary, besieged souls, we’ll enjoy the fruits (which are many and wonderful) of happy souls and also be able to receive more of God (which is even more wonderful). We’ll find the vibrancy and resiliency we crave as human beings, living waters welling up from deep within. And then—we’ll get our lives back!

But the process needs to be accessible and sustainable. We’ve all tried exercise, diets, Bible study programs that began with vim and verve but over time got shoved to the side, lost in the chaos. I have a gym membership; I rarely use it. There’s those books I haven’t finished, loads of podcasts too. Rest assured—the graces I am offering here are within reach of a normal life. I think you’ll find them simple, sustainable, and refreshing.

God wants to strengthen and renew your soul; Jesus longs to give you more of himself. Come, you weary and heavy laden. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life ... and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28–30 THE MESSAGE). You can get your life back; you can live freely and lightly. The world may be harsh, but God is gentle; he knows what your life is like. What we need to do is put ourselves in places that allow us to receive his help.

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