What to Tell Your Soul When You Feel Unsettled
Summers can be unsettling.
In my mind’s eye, they should be filled with pleasant, lazy predictability.
But I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that. The summers of my life have been filled with change. And with the most recent changes… a move, cross-country travels, lots of newness on the horizon… comes the realization once again. My world is unpredictable. I’m not truly home yet. There’s a lot of unknown left, whether I like it or not.
It can unsettle my soul.
I’m tempted to let it swirl alongside my emotions: missing the comfortable elements of yesterday; worrying through the “what ifs” of tomorrow; hurting with burdened loved ones today; wishing every little thing that feels unraveled right now could just be resolved and permanently in place.
This transitional season shows me, once more, that I have very little control.
So before anxieties settle too deeply into my heart’s cracks and corners, I need to have a talk with my soul. Better yet, let God’s Word speak to my soul.
That’s where it starts.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
When I do, I’m freed from shouldering God’s responsibilities. When I’m still, when I remember who God really is, I can trust Him again. Looking at my Father reminds me that I’m in the hands of Love, Mercy, Grace, Truth, Goodness. I’m held by the One who makes all things work together for good. And all the cares circling through my head are among the things He works for good.
I can release my grasp. He is God. My soul can be still.
Hope in God.
Not in money. Not in friends. Not in health. Not in security. In God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God (Psalm 42:11).
“I shall again praise him…” Just like in the past. Placing my hope in Him in the past has yielded praise because He was faithful. Placing my hope in Him today will result in praise again. Though my circumstances have changed, my God hasn’t.
Yes, my soul, like the Psalmist’s, will rise and fall with emotion. For the rest of my life, it will be tempted to despair, sometimes even just hours after joyous victories. But that’s why I’ll keep speaking to it: hope in God, hope in God… I shall again praise him.
Jesus is my stability.
The times in which I live are unpredictable. Volatile. While I adjust to living in a new city, others adjust to loss of loved ones. I don’t know what tomorrow holds for my own family, nor what tragedy will be broadcast on tomorrow’s news.
“…he will be the stability of your times…” (Isaiah 33:6a).
He is the Rock. Unmovable. He is the stability of my times. The “sure and steadfast anchor” of my soul (Hebrews 6:19).
When my heart wonders why it never quite feels at home in this world, when it’s weary of constant change, when it’s not sure it has the energy to dive into unfamiliar territory or deep water another time, I’ll speak to it again.
Jesus is your stability.
There are endless truths my soul needs to hear. So in a few months, when summer’s over and my soul struggles with something different, I’ll speak to it again. And God’s Word will have exactly what I need for those unsettled days.
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7a).
So I’ll keep clinging. To my Heavenly Father and every promise He has made to me.
And it will truly be well with my soul.