Updated: Apr 16, 2021
With all of the turmoil happening in the world today added on top of already busy schedules, it's hard to find the wherewithal to get out of bed in the morning. I hear that a lot lately, even from Christians. It's easy to become worn out doing all the things, including taking care of your marriage, children, extended family, friends, neighbors, church obligations...
Burnout is what can happen when we take on too much and hit a wall. But God has given us ways to help us avoid burning out.
I was so blessed to minister at a Women's Conference last week. The theme was great. It became apparent how many women are so exhausted by life and feel spiritually dry.
The first way we learned how to beat burn out is:
1. Become a well-watered garden
Isaiah 58:11 - "The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
God has given us keys to learn how to drink and satisfy our souls in drought or dry seasons; when thirsting after Christ and His grace, righteousness or after more knowledge of him becomes a necessity. Staying in communion with Him and other believers, going after the presence of God in these times becomes imperative.
Psalms 92:12-14 - "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing."
Here, it is saying that God will come and quicken, comfort, refresh and strengthen us. He will make our very souls "fresh and flourishing" in spiritual things. We will be like a well-watered garden, watered by the Lord Himself, by the dews of His grace and ministry of the Word.
It also refers that the plants there. They thrive and flourish, lift up their heads, shoot up and grow. They bring forth fruit and are like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail or dry up. It is within every believer, springing up. This leads us to the next way to beat burn-out:
2. Learn to rely on Holy Spirit to refresh you in times of resting
John 7:37-39 - "On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said was about the Holy Spirit."
Psalms 23:2 - He leads me beside the waters of rest. He refreshes our soul.
So, allow Holy Spirit to come and refresh you today. Use the gift God has given you through what is the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that leads us into all truth as we read the Bible. He will refresh our souls as we rely on His guidance and simply rest in Him. Say no to anything that will keep you too busy to spend time with Him.
Jesus said He Himself would offer living water which would be the salvation of our souls through Him and His sacrifice and we would never thirst again. Which leads us to the third way to beat burnout:
3. Be aware of sin patterns
Acts 3:19 - "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."
I shared at the Women's Conference that Isaiah 61 says that no destructive force in our lives is greater than God's plan to redeem it all.
Isaiah 61:3 - "and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."
Throughout Scripture, ashes signify our human condition. Ashes remind us that trials produce humility and sacrifices can bring about renewal.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Scripture indicates that people put ashes on their heads as a sign of grief: Job repented in ashes.
It was customary to don sackcloth and sit in ashes during times of grief and repentance. Here, Isaiah was announcing that God was sending One who would proclaim good news for the poor, freedom for prisoners, and comfort for the brokenhearted.
He was describing the heart of our Lord who cleanses the ash from our lives and clothes us in the beautiful gift of salvation. It is He who forgives our iniquities and remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).
The ashes of grief, shame, and disgrace are exchanged with the reward of an everlasting covenant with God (Isaiah 61:8). Through Isaiah, God tells his people that “all who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed” (Isaiah 61:9).
Ephesians 3:19 - "and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself]." (The Amplified Version)
So, learn how to stay well-watered by allowing the Holy Spirit to bring you into times of refreshing as you stay in a position of humility and repentance. You will not only avoid burnout, but you will stay "hydrated" in your walk with Jesus, bearing good fruit and helping others to learn to drink of Him.