The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, October 25, 2023, was written by Steven R. Schlesselman of Oklahoma.
1 Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre. 8 He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry. 10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; 11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 147:1-11 NRSV
After countless hours of use on hot, dusty baseball fields, my two sons' baseball mitts would invariably wear out. The leather would dry out and crack, and the laces would fray, stretch, and break. Instead of buying my sons new gloves every spring, I learned to restore their favorite mitts by re-lacing them and treating the leather with restorative products. When I was finished, the gloves were as good as new.
At times, I have felt that my spiritual life was like those worn-out gloves. Sometimes I have neglected to read scripture, pray, and meditate, or even attend church. Strained relationships, substance abuse, financial concerns, or health problems seemed to break me down and make me feel useless. However, scripture tells us when our spirit is broken, God will bind up all our sorrows and restore us to wholeness.
My sons' well-worn baseball mitts were restored to usefulness when I took time to care for them. Similarly, my soul is restored when I turn my heart and mind to God through daily prayer, meditation, scripture reading, and worship. When God restores my soul, I am able to continue serving and bringing God glory.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
At some point or another, we will all feel worn down by the pressures of life. It is vital that we have elements and practices in our life to rejuvenate and revitalize us. Much like the baseball mitts in Steven's reflection, we need to replace our proverbial worn-out laces, enabling God to bind our spirits, anew, with hope and joy. What are the practices, habits, and disciplines you use to rejuvenate and revitalize your spirit and soul?
Thank you, caring God, for restoring our souls when we are worn down. Guide us back into your loving arms. Amen.