He Restores My Soul

Tucked inside the twenty-third psalm is a short phrase composed of only four words: He restoreth my soul. Some translations use words like refreshes my soul, renews my strength, revives my life, or reinvigorates the soul. Regardless of the terminology, it all points to making one come alive again when they are weary.

Since I have settled on the word “restore” for 2024, I thought this would be a good opportunity to explore it a little deeper. The latter part of 2023 gave reason for my annual word selection. As I have more birthdays, my body reminds me I’m not as young as I used to be. Health issues took center stage soon after coming home from my last mission trip. Fatigue has become a noticeable factor.

Reflecting on the Past

As I thought about the idea of restoration, I recalled a time years ago when I desperately needed to restore my soul. I had gotten to the point that I dreaded going to work. A sense of gloom frowned at me in the mirror every morning. Job responsibilities were weighty, my boss was demanding, and the work hours were unpredictable. To make matters worse, I lacked confidence in some of the clinical testing skills needed.

I am not the workaholic type and resented having to make myself available after an 8-hour work day. Too often, I was forced to change my plans to accommodate an unexpected patient’s blood sample that required immediate testing. Too often, I found myself caught in traffic trying to meet my husband for a movie or dinner date. Work consumed more of my life than I wanted it to, physically and mentally.

Have you experienced a time when you needed to restore your soul? How does God restore souls anyway?

Elijah’s Restoration

Let’s look at the prophet Elijah and how God restored his weary soul even after miraculous events. First Kings 18 and 19 describe the process. First, the Lord addressed Elijah’s physical needs. God is mindful of the fact that we are human, and our physical bodies must be cared for before the spiritual part can be. Elijah needed extended sleep, so sleeping, he did. Second, an angel came to minister to him while he was asleep, not once, but twice! The angel provided food as nourishment for the journey ahead. It appears that Elijah seems rather unaffected by God’s grace at this point. Was he too depressed? Was he taking God for granted?

Next, Elijah wandered for forty days in the desert until he reached Mount Sinai, a place known to be holy. Although his physical circumstances had improved, his spiritual condition was not yet fully restored as he took refuge in a cave. He wasn’t quite ready to learn and listen to God’s instruction. Instead of seeking God’s refuge, he followed his own strategy.

Finally, God poses the question: “Why are you here, Elijah?” Perhaps it was for him to recognize his failures and inability to see God’s care. He was still angry and bitter at God’s seeming lack of response to his plight. The Lord reveals Himself to Elijah in a gentle whisper rather than in a spectacular way. This is when true fellowship occurs. Elijah goes on to fulfill the tasks given to him by God.

The Principles of Restoration

The writer of the blog sums up three principles of “restoring my soul” described in Psalm 23. These three principles of rest, reflection, and replenishment all correlate with the story of Elijah’s restoration. David, however, was already enjoying a time of relaxation in God’s presence. Unlike Elijah, who took a while to realize God’s presence and protection, David looks at life from God’s perspective in Psalm 23.

A renewed vigor to live for God completes the restoration process, allowing us to face our problems once again.

Restoration takes time. We must focus on God, His power, protection, presence, and provision. He renews us with hope and joy and gives us an anticipation of eternity with Him.

In the words of Max Lucado, “Jesus restores our hope by giving us himself.” Our vigor and energy are renewed through His fellowship and direction.

I look forward to restoring my body and soul in 2024. Does your soul need to be restored?

Karen Allen


  1. Sharon Atwood on February 2, 2024 at 10:13 am

    This was a pleasant reminder that we all need restoration. The Lord provides that restoration that our soul so desperately needs.

    • Karen Allen on February 2, 2024 at 10:24 pm

      Restoration brings a newness and refreshment with it. It might also bring a different outlook. Thank you for your post.

  2. J.D. Wininger on February 2, 2024 at 11:24 am

    Rest? Yes, I think we all have cycles where we’ve worn ourselves down. I can be bone-tired, exhaustipated (I’ll explain that one privately one day), and emotionally drained. And while I recognize the need to rest and relaxation (R&R) to recalibrate my body and mind, I’m not sure that I need restoration. Trust me, there’s been times in my life where that is exactly what was needed, and only God could provide, but right now I think I fall squarely into the former rather than the latter. I’m as sure as ever of my calling to the ministry God has assigned me. And while I’m certain of that, I know that without the proper rest, relaxation, and nourishment I cannot perform the tasks assigned by God with the zeal, fervor, and intensity I need to. Hope that makes sense my friend. Another candid, noteworthy post that prompts us to give real consideration to the question you ask. God’s blessings Ms. Karen.

    • Karen Allen on February 2, 2024 at 10:22 pm

      You made an excellent point, J.D. Makes perfect sense. Rest vs. restoration are two different things. I wish rest would be enough for my ailing body, but it is currently in need of restoration. My therapist says it could take months, but I will get better. Therapy is part of that restoration process for me. Rest is certainly another necessary part – one that I’m not always good about. There are times I wonder if I should continue writing, but those are typically short-lived. God always erases that doubt with an unmistakable response.
      Thank you for your thorough post. Much appreciated and always on target. Now go take a good nap with your furry friends.

  3. Karen Allen on February 2, 2024 at 10:26 pm

    Excellent word, my dear friend.

    Eddie Burchfield

  4. Ron Gallagher on February 3, 2024 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for a refreshing piece of encouragement, Karen, but there was something that prompted a nudge from God that I needed and it wasn’t your major point. It was the question you referenced in God’s interaction with Elijah. It’s the “why are you here?” question. I’m at a point in life where I needed to consider that basic issue and you have helped me toward “restoring” what my life is about and why I’m here.

    • Karen Allen on February 3, 2024 at 11:07 pm

      Ron, I am moved by your sentiments. Such a simple question from the Lord, isn’t it, allowing us to evaluate ourselves and come back to the place of remembering we are God’s creation. I am grateful my post spoke to you first, to bring out that question, and second, that you were able to answer it. Thank you so much for commenting. I am honored. I enjoy reading your blogs when I can.

  5. David E Luellen, PhD on February 3, 2024 at 11:08 am

    My indefatigable Father perfectly exemplified the American work ethic. “Days are made for working. Nights are made for sleeping,” was one of his mantras. When his children were old enough that naps were no longer age appropriate, they no longer napped. Instead, they pulled weeds in the garden, completed homework and helped in the kitchen … and as a reward built snowmen in the winter or swam in Lake Erie in the summer.

    Even in adulthood when I tire during the day, I can hear my Father’s voice speaking that mantra in my head. But Daddy didn’t live to be 87! As I approach nanagenarianhood and the need for a nap in the middle of the day overtakes me, in deference to my Father, I refer to that time as a horizontal activity pause. And that brief pause restores, refreshes and reinvigorates both body and soul.

    • Karen Allen on February 3, 2024 at 10:57 pm

      You have my permission to nap every single day, Dr. Luellen. You have earned it. Your Dad sounds like a man made of the right stuff.

  6. Tamara Moser on February 3, 2024 at 9:49 pm

    I really enjoyed this post!! Well done.

    • Karen Allen on February 3, 2024 at 10:54 pm

      Thank you and thanks for reading/commenting.

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Ewe R Blessed Ministries / Karen O. Allen

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