Have you ever been in a place in life where you’re burned out and have nothing more to give? Maybe you’re there right now.
Burnout can be an emotionally exhausting place where we lose our perspective on God. I’ve been there before—in a place where I think God is standing over me with a great big stick with MINISTRY written on it, saying, “Get up and minister, minister, minister!”
But that’s not how God is. So, while I intensify my work... and I read my Bible more... and I pray more... and I get more and more tired and exhausted... God patiently waits for me to run out of my own strength and turn to Him. He knows what I really need is to sleep. To unwind. To stop being so spiritually intense. To let Him work through me.
The first thing God did for Elijah when he was at his wit’s end and wanted to hide in a cave was to lovingly care for him. God assured Elijah of His love in 1 Kings 19:7:
“The angel of the LORD... touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’”
God’s refreshing touch came to Elijah in the form of making him breakfast! Now, God may not do that for you, but He might lead you to go for a walk and clear your head, or call a friend and have a good laugh.
Which brings me to a really important point: God might work through others to replenish you. So don’t isolate yourself when you feel burned out.
When Elijah started to get depressed after Jezebel threatened to kill him, he left his servant behind and fled to the desert, where he was alone. He forgot the very person who God might have used to help him!
If you’re feeling burned out and ready to throw in the towel, turn and find rest in God’s refreshing touch and the warmth of His love. And remember, He knows the journey is too much for us. That’s why He’s always there, ready to carry us when we come to the end of where our own strength can take us.
More on this topic:
Feeling overwhelmed with work
A word from Stuart on Time bandits
Renew your spirit for the year ahead
Jill answers questions about finding rest