Get Your Life Back, a 5-Day Devotional from John Eldredge

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


 How would you score your soul these days?

  • Are you happy most of the time? 
  • How often do you feel lighthearted? 
  • Are you excited about your future? 
  • Do you feel deeply loved? 
  • When was the last time you felt carefree?

I know, it’s not even fair to ask. Our souls are bleary, seared, smeared. Still able to love, yes; still able to hope and dream. But at the end of any given day, most people come home in a state of exhaustion. Numb on our good days, fried more often than we admit.

The world has gone completely mad, and it’s trying to take our souls with it.

Now, if we had more of God, that would really help. We could draw upon His love and strength, His wisdom and resilience. After all, God is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). If we had more of His lavish life bubbling up in us, it would be a rescue in this soul-scorching hour.

But this frantic, volatile world constantly wilts the soul, dries it out like a raisin, making it almost impossible to receive the life God is pouring forth.

That’s called a double bind.

I tried to find more of God, knowing if I only had a greater measure of His life in me, I’d be able to navigate this rough terrain. I was practicing the usual stuff – prayer, worship, Scripture, sacrament.

But still, I felt . . . I don’t know . . . shallow somehow. Sipping God with teaspoons, not drinking great gulps; wading, not swimming. My soul felt like a shallow rain puddle. But I know the soul isn’t a shallow puddle at all; it’s deep and vast, capable of symphonies and heroic courage. I wanted to be living from those deep places, but I felt trapped in the shoals.

God wants to strengthen and renew your soul; Jesus longs to give you more of Himself. Come, you weary and heavy laden. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life . . . and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28–30 The Message). You can get your life back; you can live freely and lightly. The world may be harsh, but God is gentle; He knows what your life is like. What we need to do is put ourselves in places that allow us to receive His help.