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BIS LIVES Blog

RICE: Like Physical Therapy, But for Your Soul

rice physical therapy spiritual therapy

I was feeling a little under the weather. Have you ever wondered about the origin of the idiom “under the weather”? The consensus on a brief and unvetted internet search is that it has nautical origins. No surprise, it means to feel sick. But what was new to me is that in past seafaring days, it meant to be negatively impacted by bad weather on the sea. Seasickness was usually the adverse effect.

Physically, I was fine. Spiritually and emotionally, however, I was queasy and uncomfortable. Some things were not going as I had expected and hoped. I replayed the reels of the circumstances surrounding me for the millionth time, hoping that in this replay I would find the peace and joy I sought.

As bad weather on the ocean makes one queasy, circumstances were shaking my faith. But, I knew better than to blame them. I knew the world could not give me true peace even when I perceived everything to be perfect. I recalled Jesus’ words, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).

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Sin Damages the Soul

My negative thoughts about my circumstances and well, my sin, were separating me from God, the source of true peace and joy. My chronic weaknesses of pride, desire for control, and ingratitude had gone viral in my heart.

I was fearful, discouraged and doubtful. I had strayed from the way I knew I needed to go, the way for which I was made. My sin was serving only me, the world and Satan. I felt a wave of nausea.

But Jesus was there, speaking to me just as He spoke to the Pharisees when they complained about Him spending time with sinners:

Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.  I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners. -Luke 5:31

I had strayed far enough. It was time to see the Divine Physician. I wanted a “scrip”; not a prescription for physical healing, but Scripture for spiritual healing. I rejoiced in the knowledge that the Divine Physician is always “in” and there would be no waiting, insurance paperwork, or medical history to complete.

He already knows everything about me.

Seeing the Divine Physician

When my son recently fractured his arm, he received a cast and a scrip for RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

While challenging for my son to endure, that blessed RICE acronym provides me simple parameters for the prescription I desperately wanted. They were instructions on how to return to my Lord and His will for which I was made.

RICE: Like Physical Therapy on the Soul Level

Repeat multiple times daily in any order. You need it even when you think you don’t. Start with small doses if overwhelmed. But you cannot overdose.

Warning: side effects will be unnatural, countercultural, and, in the best cases, visible to others.

Rest

Be still and know that I am God! -Psalm 46:11

Spend time with the Lord; invest in your relationship; be still; pray; listen; respond; rest in Him; abide in Him; stop rushing around; be present; learn to find solitude amidst the noise of the world; encounter Christ where you are; seek refuge in the Lord; hang out with no agenda; examine the disposition of your heart; reflect on your day; ask questions of God; seek the Holy Spirit’s counsel; share your worries; appreciate your joys; enjoy the Lord in nature; open your schedule; be available to God; open your Bible; be attentive to Christ; open your heart; be loving to others; open your mind; be moldable by the Holy Spirit; be still; pray; listen; respond; exude peace; and rest in the Lord, allowing these things that form a prayer life to produce a life of prayer.

Ice

He must increase; I must decrease. -John 3:30

Die to self and its demands; ice the swelling heat of sin; own mistakes; confess sins; be truthful; cry; embrace the freedom of forgiveness; accept God’s grace and mercy; offer weaknesses; be filled with the Lord’s strength; endure pruning; welcome growth; expose the brokenness; light up the darkness; be courageous; accept hardships as a way to peace; desire self-control; surrender everything; and accept humility, recognizing a beautifully right relationship with God.

Compress

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. -2 Peter 1:5-7

Lean into Scripture; grow in knowledge of the Lord; trust God’s Word; embrace community; celebrate the Eucharist; be inspired by others’ goodness; work to improve; train ears to hear; open eyes to see; wear the armor of God; desire wisdom; invest time in relationships; find prudent advisors who point to the Lord; discern with the Spirit’s guidance; leave your comfort zone; remove the log in your eye; leave judgment with the Lord; see Christ in others; be intentional in everything; want the best for others; go beyond yourself; be generous without counting the cost; labor without need for reward; bear fruit where you are; serve others in small ways that may go unnoticed; forgive the inexcusable; be gentle; love the unlikeable; share the good news; practice patience; choose love; and become a life lived for others.

Elevate

… as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18

Fix your eyes on the Lord; radiate joy; laugh; detach from earthly treasures; expect great things from God; choose kindness; find self-worth in the Lord’s love; visit problems; reside with the Lord; celebrate God’s victory; give thanks to the Lord; live in the power of Jesus’ Resurrection; give praise to God; transcend the need to understand his mysteries; be animated by the Holy Spirit; rise above circumstances, good and bad; believe in Divine Providence; be in awe of the Lord; be grateful; give adoration to God; respect and celebrate creation; love all life; rise above the noise; get back up; persevere; be lifted up; and know that, made in God’s image, you are a beloved soul whose great worth exists in God’s boundless and eternal love.

Does your soul need some “physical therapy”? Will you begin today?

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Nikki Frerker is a wife and mother of four who lives in Leawood, Kansas. She spends a portion of her time practicing estate planning law and enjoys serving as a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at her parish. You may find her running before the sun rises, driving her children around at all hours, or singing praise music just loud enough to embarrass anyone willing to listen. You can find out more about her here.

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