I have a plaque with the outline sketch of a seashell and the words: THE BEACH, rekindle, relax and refresh. I bought it because it reminds me of the summer afternoons I spent on the beaches of Southern California. It wasn’t till I moved away that I realized how much those moments on the beach helped rekindle, relax and refresh my soul.
When I read Psalm 85, I notice three similar words: restore, revive and rejoice. Based on their previous experience of grace, God’s people cry out: Restore us again, O God of our salvation and our away your indignation toward us (vs. 4)! Furthermore, they ask for this gift of grace to revive them again that they might rejoice: Show us you steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation (vs. 6,7).
The Psalmist describes beautifully what happens when you and I choose to reorient every aspect of our lives toward the things of God. Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other (vs. 10). God’s righteousness and peace rekindle our hope and bring relaxation and refreshment to our souls.
We may not be able to spend long summer afternoons on the beach, but we can reorient our lives and ask God to bring restoration and revival to our souls. And we can rejoice by trusting in God’s covenant promises to us. Yes, the Lord will give what is good (vs.12a).
As I read through Psalm 85 prayerfully, I wonder if God is inviting me into new experiences of grace. Is there a habit, an attitude, a relationship in my life, in yours, that needs reorientation? May God give us the courage to listen for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints (vs. 8).