The day was cold and dreary, so I decided to distract myself by driving down to the local mall for an hour to do a little window shopping. As I walked along the brightly-lit halls, every store seemed adorned with the same message. Buy ‘this,’ and you’ll take care of yourself best. Wear ‘that,’ and you’ll get the pampering you deserve.

Self-care was everywhere. Self-help on full display.

I’ve learned over the years, however, that self-care isn’t always the same thing as soul-care. We can get a pedicure, buy a new sweater, order a venti chai latte from Starbucks, or even spend the afternoon hiking or biking in nature (whatever defines self-care for you), but these things won’t produce that sense of inner peace and replenishment unless we actually stop and take time to invite Jesus into the picture. He is our ultimate source of strength. He is our only place of real rest. His presence holds the power to reassure and restore, to repair and redirect.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you…” (ESV).

What struggle are you facing today? What difficulty is draining your energy and stealing your peace? Perhaps it’s time to let your mind focus again on Jesus and His all-surpassing love. Perhaps He’s wooing you to spend in His Word or in worship so that He might soothe your soul. Jesus, after all, does a much better job of caring for you than you ever could. When you cast your cares on Him, He’ll be right there soul-caring for you (1 Peter 5:7, ESV).

*Originally published by The Joyful Life Magazine.