Do you ever get agitated? Do you ever feel the need for something to soothe you on the inside?
Maybe you grab a hot drink, or eat chocolate, or turn on the radio, or call a friend. There are many ways we look to “soothe the soul”, and that’s what I want to investigate with you here.
When we are stretched or taken out of our normal pattern we can feel like we are out of our “comfort zone”. The first day at a new school or workplace can be outside our comfort zone. But in time we become very familiar and comfortable with those surroundings.
An emergency or crisis can completely throw us out of our comfort zone. Getting back to normal is then a wonderful relief. It soothes the soul.
You may have felt soothed on arriving home after a really hectic day or a long time away. You may feel that soothing sense when you reconnect with your extended family, or go back to the place of your childhood.
Choose Your Addiction
Most of the time we have to rely on something close at hand to bring us the inner soothing we might seek. That’s why people turn to their addictions for a dose of comfort.
They might light up a cigarette, drink a coffee, sneak some chocolate, go to the movies, rush off for some retail therapy, have a facial, do an extra session at the gym, call a friend or get buried in work. The list is endless.
Sadly many turn to prescription drugs to relieve their feelings and end up addicted to a chemical prop that reduces their ability to cope with life and find the better solutions they need.
What do you gravitate to when you feel uncomfortable on the inside?
The True Anchor
Take note that the Bible refers to an “anchor of the soul”. Our sense of being safe and soothed on the inside has been provided for by God. We may not need all that chocolate (apologies to all those chockaholics!)
If we have a sufficient “anchor” for our soul we won’t need to rush off for something to soothe us. Our “comfort zone” will be much wider and we will not find ourselves feeling the same duress we might otherwise have felt.
The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament talks about a “hope” that is the “anchor of our soul”.
“We have a hope that is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which relates to things within the veil” Hebrews 6:19
Hope as Our Soul Soother
The anchor of our soul is not retail therapy or any of those other things we rely on to soothe our soul. The anchor is much more effective than the temporary relief we might get from a hot drink or a chat with a friend. The anchor holds our soul firm even in the face of terrible storms.
And that anchor is “hope”. It is the hope we have in God.
Reference to the anchor of our soul in Hebrews is in the context of the “hope set before us”.
“We who have fled for refuge have strong consolation through two indestructible things in which it was impossible for God to lie, enabling us to lay hold on the hope set before us” Hebrews 6:18
Our soul is soothed by our confidence in God that He has everything under control and has told us the truth about His promises and blessings. This is a powerful source of comfort. It is a “strong consolation”.
God cannot lie, so we can find consolation and hope in the things He has promised us.
Hope in God
This hope we have in God was also relied upon to soothe the soul by King David, 1,000 years before the book of Hebrews was written.
When King David found himself struggling on the inside he spoke to his inner self, his soul, and instructed it to “hope in God”!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God: for I will yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope in God: for I will yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43:5
This is the same concept as the “anchor of the soul”, of putting our hope in God and finding “strong consolation” by doing so.
Get an Anchor
If you are often looking for something to soothe you on the inside then you need more than a soother. You need an anchor.
And if you are going through a tough time, maybe through sickness, financial challenges, relationship issues, failure, shame, or whatever, be sure to get an “anchor” rather than some temporary soother.
There are seasons that really stretch us. If we don’t have an anchor we will turn to our various soothers and they may end up enslaving us in addiction. I am afraid the drug companies are not ashamed to exploit your weak moments to get you relying on their medications for the rest of your life.
If you have an “anchor” you don’t need the temporary relievers. Those things don’t have the impact of an anchor.
I am in a long term challenge. We are taking on issues of bank fraud, injustice in the courts and treason in the political and social structures. It’s not a challenge that goes away on the weekends. And the struggle to this point has seen us evicted from our home twice.
So I know what it is like to be hankering for something to soothe my ruffled feelings. A quiet cup of coffee, a belly full of food, sitting in some warm and comfortable place with no interruptions – these are things I find soothing.
But I have also found that turning to God and hoping in Him has brought much greater inner strength and comfort than the comforts my body or mind can gain.
So I speak from experience when I encourage you to “Hope in God”! Find Him and His promises as the anchor of your soul.