October 23, 2017

Soothing the Soul

Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast.

It’s so true. I don’t know about you, but the inner part of my nature can be as savage as a wild animal at times. Emotional upheaval, spiritual dehydration, mental ferociousness. My heart and soul can become unrestrained and vicious at times, seeking to destroy others or nearly destroying myself in their vehemence.

But music calms the soul. It soothes the depths of emotion, quiets the intensity of the affections. It distracts the mind and assuages the heart. We all know it. We’ve all felt its power from time to time. Yet there’s something even better than music, something that soothes and quiets even more completely than melodies and harmonies – it is the words of our Creator, the loving promises of our Shepherd, the powerful declarations of our Savior.

Scripture has the greatest power to soothe the savage mind, the damaged heart, the broken spirit. The very words of God have the power to uplift and repair, to quiet and calm, to refill and rejuvenate.

I’m speaking here from personal experience. This past week was a difficult one for our family. My husband’s Grandpap passed into eternity last Monday, and we all traveled to Pennsylvania for his funeral. I had only known him a few short years (and only saw him once or twice each of those years), but I loved him for my husband’s sake as well as his own. It was rough seeing his body there in the casket, knowing that we’d never see his presence again here on this earth. But when the preacher began speaking during the funeral service, his words immediately quieted my spirit and calmed my tears. He read from Titus 1 about the “hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began…”

What amazing truth that is, that God can not lie! All that He has spoken will come to pass, because He is truth in His very nature. All that He has promised from the very beginning of the world will be fulfilled. As I heard these words and really listened to the promises given, an overwhelming peace filled my heart and mind. My sorrow was calmed, my emotions were quieted.

That is the power of Scripture! That is the blessing of having the Holy Spirit within us, to tune our hearts to His whisper and calm our souls with His presence. That is the assurance of knowing the one who created you and me, and of knowing without a doubt that He is who He says He is. Music could never calm and quiet in that way, only God’s words can do that.

So what do you turn to when your spirit is bruised and torn, when your heart aches and your mind is weary? Do you try to escape to another world through books or movies or computer games? Do you try to distract your thoughts through shopping or socializing or keeping busy? Do you try to ignore your pain through alcohol or sleep or overeating?

Turn to Scripture. Read the words of your Creator. Meditate on His promises:

  • He is always with you.
  • Nothing can ever separate you from His love.
  • Nothing can ever pluck you out of His care.
  • He is the same God who rescued Daniel from the lions den and Jonah from the belly of a fish.
  • His mercy and goodness is unchanging and unfailing.
  • His love is eternal and immeasurable and unconditional.
  • He is your unmovable refuge and fortress.
  • He willingly fills us with His peace that is beyond human comprehension.
  • He is our eternal and sure Hope, more certain than anything in this world could ever be.

Don’t these promises fill you with courage and peace? Don’t they calm your soul and quiet your heart? Why would you turn anywhere else, when Scripture alone has the power to soothe the savage soul?