Daily Encouragement

Alicia Bruxvoort June 11, 2018

The Antidote for A Weary Soul
ALICIA BRUXVOORT

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4 (ESV)

We are wrapping up our evening meal on the deck when his eyes shift from the sliver of pink watermelon in his hand to the streaks of salmon sunlight hovering above the horizon.

“It’s gonna be a great sunset tonight,” my youngest boy declares.

“Mm-hmm …” I murmur as I gather dirty plates and wrinkled napkins, empty milk glasses and sticky silverware.

“Can we chase it, Mom?” Joshua begs, “Can we?”

I’ve already spent the day chasing children across the yard and chasing the dog around the neighborhood. I’ve chased down missing keys, missing shoes and my own missing patience. And the only thing I really want to chase is a little peace and quiet.

My body is weary. My soul is sapped. But I let my gaze roam from the dirty dishes in my hands to the shimmer of sunset in the sky, and I think of the lesson God has been teaching me lately:

We who are created in the image of a marvelous God are made to marvel. And sometimes our quest for solace is really just an ache for awe.

So, I set those dirty dishes in the sink and return my giddy boy’s grin. “We’d better hurry. The sun is sinking fast.”

We hop in the car and drive to that place where the thick tree line gives way to sprawling sky. And for a brief moment, I’m not just a weary mom with dirty dishes piled high at home. I’m a wonder-seeker lifting my eyes above my daily grind to get a glimpse of the divine.

I breathe deeply and let heaven’s hush invade my haggard heart. My son sighs happily and wraps his slender fingers around mine. “I’m glad we chased the sunset, Mom,” he whispers. “‘Cause that’s just what we do.”

The sky is growing dark, but I can finally see it clearly — how wonder is an antidote to weariness.And awe revives a flagging soul like water fuels a drooping body.

I’m not the first to discover it, of course. King David knew it, too. He had a nation to rule and a family to tend, decisions to make and conflicts to mend; yet David lifted his eyes above the demands of his days to see the wonder of God’s ways.

He applauded God’s handiwork in his own life (Psalm 139) and relished God’s artistry in the world around him (Psalm 8). He celebrated the magnificence of God’s Word (Psalm 119) and the brilliance of His deeds (Psalm 145).

In Psalm 8:3-4, David writes: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

We don’t know what drove David into the dark on that night long ago, but we know what happened beneath those stars — wonder didn’t just fuel his soul, it flipped his perspective. When David considered the wonder of God’s handiwork, he encountered the grandeur of God’s heart. And we do, too.

Wonder buoys our souls because it bends our knees. Wonder reminds us God is big, and we are small. And we don’t need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders because He already carries the world in His hands.

So, let’s be wonder-seekers today, dear friends. Let’s look up and around. Let’s listen and give thanks.

And when we get a glimpse of God’s glory in our grit, let’s choose to stop and marvel. Because as children of a marvelous God, that’s just what we do.

Dear Jesus, sometimes my life just doesn’t feel amazing. It feels monotonous and wearisome, humdrum and hard. But You have created my soul to marvel. Help me see Your glory in the midst of my daily grind, and let me discover more of Your heart as I applaud Your handiwork. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Isaiah 40:26, “Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Why does God’s plan for our lives sometimes feel like a complicated puzzle to solve? Life would be so much simpler if He would just tell us whether or not to take that job, move to that city or go to that church. In Thy Will Be Done, a new six-week devotional, you’ll find a practical, topical collection of some of our favorite devotions aimed at seeking God’s direction. Get your copy today, free with a donation of your choice! Click here to learn more.

Life is full of trials and disappointments. Yet Paul’s letter to the Philippians teaches us that we can discover contentment and joy in the midst of it all by prioritizing what matters most — Jesus. What Matters Most, a study on Philippians, starts June 18 in the First 5 app. Click here to learn more!

CONNECT:
For more encouragement and a free resource to help you become a “wonder-seeker,” visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do one thing that encourages your soul to marvel today. Watch a sunset, walk barefoot in the grass, listen to the sound of a child’s laugh, or linger in His Word with an unhurried heart. What’s your plan to be a wonder-seeker today? Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2018 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

 

Bible Gateway

Daily Devotional

When Reason Serves Rebellion

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13)

This is not what I expected the proverb to say. I would have expected it to say “The coward says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!’” But it says, “sluggard,” not “coward.” So the controlling emotion here is laziness, not fear.

But what does laziness have to do with the danger of a lion in the street? We don’t say, “This man is too lazy to go do his work because there is a lion outside.”

The point is that the sluggard creates imaginary circumstances to justify not doing his work, and thus shifts the focus from the vice of his laziness to the danger of lions. No one will approve his staying in the house all day just because he is lazy.

One profound biblical insight we need to know is that our heart exploits our mind to justify what the heart wants. That is, our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right.

This is what the sluggard is doing. He deeply desires to stay at home and not work. There is no good reason to stay at home. So what does he do? Does he overcome his bad desire? No, he uses his mind to create unreal circumstances to justify his desire.

Doing the evil we love makes us hostile to the light of truth. In this condition the mind becomes a factory of half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions and lies — anything to protect the evil desires of the heart from exposure and destruction.

Consider and be wise.

 
 
 

Bible Gateway