What would it look like to have a restored soul? Many combat veterans are feeling hopeless. They have lost all optimism, intentionality and faith. For them, life has lost its purpose and joy. The solution to despair is a restored soul, and there is only One who can restore a soul.
In your Field Guide, write down at least three aspects of your life you have tried to control through your own efforts and what the end results have been. Come prepared next week to share one of your responses with the group.
The main question we asked this week was: What would it look like for your soul to be restored? First, we looked to the biblical example of David, a man described as “after God’s own heart,” and we learned that even he too got busy and forgot his need for God. When he lost his nearness to God, and he made some horrible decisions, he cried out to God for restoration. He did this with humility. This king surrendered to the God he loved, asking for God to “restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12). David turned to the Manufacturer to fix the wound in his soul, because even though we wrongly believe we can heal our own souls, the one who created it actually holds that power.
Then we dove into the story of Samson. Samson was a mighty warrior, a man who was not built for surrender. When Samson fell, he relied on his own strength and the latter portion of his life was marked by isolation and regret. The resistance to surrender is in all of us. It represents fear, pride, and a desire to control our situations ourselves. We must surrender those things in order to allow God the room in our lives required to heal the wounds to our souls.
The final scripture of focus was Psalm 23. You are not abandoned in the valley. He will walk beside you through it. When we put our trust in God, and allow him lordship over our lives, we give him the right and the power of being our shepherd. We trust Him that He will provide for us. When we need to rest, He will call our names. We will either respond willingly or He will MAKE us lie down in green pastures. He will restore our souls.
To summarize, restoration requires humility, which requires acknowledging that there is a wound that you cannot heal on your own. Restoration requires reevaluation. Look where you are investing your time and energy. Are the relationships you’re investing in supporting healing or continued suffering?
No matter where you are in your life, God can use you and redeem you, now, and as you are. God will not force His will upon you, but if invited in, He will begin the work to restore your soul.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.