Self-Care? Check! But What about Spiritual Self-Care?
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:1-8, NIV)
This quarantine has added a lot more free time to most people’s daily life. Many have used it to start Tik-Tok accounts, start a new Netflix series, or maybe some have even learned how to cook. Whatever the case may be for you, you’ve probably added more ‘self-care’ into your routine. Whether
it be taking luxurious baths, trying out new skincare products, or reading books that you’ve had on your shelf for months just waiting to be cracked open; you have probably been focusing on caring for yourself as much as possible during this uncertain time. While all of those things are great– and probably extremely necessary for your mental health right now– there’s one thing that I just want to encourage you guys in today: spiritual self-care.
Now, more than ever, making sure that you are feeding your soul what it needs is of utmost importance. Read today’s key verse again. Do you see what this Psalm is saying? Your whole being longs for God. Why? Simply because that’s what He created you for: intimacy with Him! His love is better than life and He satisfies our souls like good food satisfies a hungry stomach.
I have these friends who are amazing cooks. I almost always make it to their house in time for dinner at least once or twice a week and I’m never disappointed. I consider myself blessed every time I get to eat a meal that they’ve made because it’s top-notch food. By the same token, I’ve also eaten food that’s not quite as good quality– and sure, maybe it fills my stomach, but I’m never actually satisfied by it.
I’ll admit it, I’m a huge foodie- I know food, and good food always satisfies. The same thing goes for our souls. There are things that we can do to fill our souls, but nothing truly satisfies like Jesus. In the same way that my tastebuds crave a good steak, our whole being longs for Jesus and the only thing that can satisfy that longing is Him.
So what does this look like? What is spiritual self-care? Well, for starters, it’s making time for the Lover of your soul. That means spending time reading your word, listening, or playing and singing worship songs to praise Him, spending time in prayer, and sitting and soaking in His presence. There is an intentional step that needs to be taken if you’re not already doing these things daily.
Maybe at first, it might seem like work, but as you keep doing it, you’ll see the fruit that will come from your time allocated in this area. Do you always see the results of a new facemask or skin cream within the first day, or even the first week? No! Good things take time, and this is the most important thing for you to put your time and effort into.
I hear a lot of people say that they don’t like to worship outside of Sunday service because they “can’t sing” or because they “don’t know how to play any instruments”. Okay, maybe you’re not musically inclined, but if you’re alone, it shouldn’t matter! Who cares what you sound like? You’re singing to Jesus, the One who created your voice. Trust me… He loves it! He wants to hear you sing. He wants to see you dance. Heck, He just wants to see you caught up in spending time with Him, however you want to express it. Be you, but don’t neglect to worship Him because not only does it bring Him glory, but it fills the deep desire within your soul to be with Jesus at the same time.
Today, here’s a challenge: Read your Bible and then sit and let Him speak to your soul. Trust me, there’s nothing like hearing the voice of God. There’s nothing like feeling His peace and joy and rest. I promise that your Bible will start to light up as you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal new things to you. There is so much in that book: stories of when Jesus lived, stories of God’s past faithfulness, beautiful poetry, and songs, and so much more. If you think that you can’t relate to scripture, then you just haven’t read enough yet!
Talk to Him. He longs to be your best friend. Your prayers don’t go unheard or unanswered, but you actually have to seek Him out in the first place. The reason why you feel so disconnected from Him might be that you just haven’t set aside any time to have a conversation with Him recently. In the same way that it’s therapeutic to rant or gush about your current life situation to your friends, it is so much more therapeutic and actually healing to speak those things to the one who is actually in control and able to do something about them.
This is what actual self-care looks like. You can still use your bath bombs and at home eyelash curling kits– I’m not saying those things are bad– but if you’re only focusing on the outward and not giving your soul some TLC, you’ll only have a pretty face and a starving spirit in the end.
Matthew 16:26 says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” In the same way, what will you gain by using this time to care for your physical body, but not your soul? Don’t neglect your soul, but allow Jesus to heal and fill it!