Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. — 3 John 2
I was going to launch my new lesson series on “Lessons From Job” today but I felt lead to do something else instead. Currently, my wife and I have undergone some inner searching and also some inner evaluations. We have been found hurting, sad, angry, empty, confused, and also very loved. All of these things bouncing around inside of us has been confusing, to say the least, but it has been enlightening. Let me explain. Through all of these feelings, my wife and I have gotten to know ourselves in a deeper more intimate way, along with getting to know the other in the same fashion. We have also experienced our God, our Saviour, and our Holy Spirit on a more intimate level as well. We have found that, in fact, our feet are standing on solid ground and we know what that means.
But as I was reading randomly in the bible the verse above struck me. If we break it down we see that John is saying that our lives and our health should go well, as it is with our soul. He intentional sets these things apart in his writing. The greek word here, ψυχή (psuché), means to breathe, blow which is the root of the English words; a person’s distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. In Psalms 103:1 David says “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” All that is within us is our soul it seems. All those feelings that my wife and I were feeling…our souls were searching and exploring for something. But overall our souls were unwell and needed to become whole.
Wait, my soul can go unwell? I can have a sick soul? A lonely soul? Yes, in fact, I think that more often than not we have a soul that needs to be tuned up. When I am having a bad day and I come home, I feel so much better. Everything is familiar. Everything feels right when my body is at home. I can sit in my favorite spot, I can eat my favorite snack, I can even drink from a favorite cup. Everything there has been tailored to be the best for me. Also, I can sit next to my wife, who God tailored for me as well and she has my heart. So really home is where our heart is. But where do our souls call home?
Let’s explore that for a moment. In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth. Fast forward to Adam. God formed Adam and the last step was near. The breath of God gave life to man. No other part of creation, by the way, got the breath of God. Adam wasn’t alive until God breathed into him. Our souls come from the breath of God, we live on the borrowed breath of God.
God’s breath is the origin of our souls. It’s a piece of God that lives on our inside. Therefore, our souls return home when we use our borrowed breath to return praise to God. Psalms 150:6 tells us that everything with breath — everything with a soul — should praise God. So when we use lame excuses to not go to church or to not sing with the worship team, we are hurting our souls. Think about that for a second. Nowhere in that verse did it say, “If you like the songs, THEN give praise to God.” No, it says to just praise God. We need to remember that gratitude and worship have incredible power to bring health to our souls.
Mary and Martha illustrate two different approaches to God. Martha was worried and troubled because of what she had to do. She worried about so many physical issues that she was unwell in her soul. How many of us are like Martha? We allow everything around us to hinder our time with God. God tells us to be still and know that He is God. How often do we do that? How often do we allow our souls to return home for a short moment and visit with God?
Mary, on the other hand, didn’t do anything except listen to the love and acceptance of Jesus. She knew the importance of just being with Jesus. To listening to the Word. To just being in the presence. To just be with God. Jesus said she had discovered the one essential thing in life. Notice how He said THE one essential thing in life. Not the five steps to a healthy life. Just the one and only thing.
Our souls find their homes when they return to the creator, God; when they lean into His love, listen to Him, and stay close to Him. That is when we are truly healthy on the inside.
As a way to end this, I can say that my wife and I understand this principle. We had revival in our church these past 5 days and with everything that has happened we really didn’t feel like being there, or worshipping, or listening to the preacher, or even being around people. We had a hard time because our souls were not well, in fact, they were dark and angry. At least mine was very much that way. But by the end, and every night, our souls got a little bit better. We started to feel better within ourselves because we knew God was with us. Our souls finally resonated with life and love because we had spent time with our Creator. How wonderful it is.
May God bless you and smile upon you,