Isaiah 30:15 (King James Version)
I remember watching this Energizer Battery commercial that was aired a while back where all these toy bunnies were beating their drums, then one by one they stopped because their batteries died. All except one, the bunny that had an Energizer Battery in it, it kept going and going. I believe many people want to be like the Energizer Bunny, to keep going in the work they are doing without stopping. This same mentality is also found in those who pursue the work of the Lord.
However, our bodies are not designed for non-stop work. Doing the work of God can be a gratifying experience. However, it can also be a tiring one if we don’t take breaks in between tasks.
How can something so life fulfilling be exhausting to us? For starters, the task that the Almighty lays before us (proclaiming the Gospel) is massive in scale and we often push ourselves to try to complete all of it as soon as we can; not setting a good pace could cause fatigue quickly. Not only is our job large, it is also difficult, for not everyone who will hear the Good News of Christ will accept it with open arms. In fact, many would become hostile to it and will attempt to prevent you from sharing the Gospel with others; dealing with such obstacles can be draining.
Due to these challenges, it is quite common to see workers of Christ get burned out. Such a worker is emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained; and if they continue to serve in such a condition, they are not as effective in the work and provide a bad witness to those around them. How do we avoid burn out?
When a car is low on fuel, what do you do to prevent it from shutting down? The car needs to be refilled with gas and you get it by going to a gas station, the source of the car’s fuel. This same principle applies for servants of the Lord.
In the fifteenth verse of Isaiah 30, we learn that in order to prevent burnout, the believer must return to the source of his power: our Heavenly Father. How do we get refilled with the Lord’s power? The first step we must do is step away from the task we are doing and rest.
This is a hard thing to do for a lot of us because we are afraid that if we leave then the whole ministry would fall apart. However, we are not the glue that keeps the Kingdom together, God is, and you are just a small component in its function. Therefore, don’t worry about taking a break, the Lord will keep it moving until you return.
Once you have pulled away from the work, it is time to spend some quality time in the Lord’s Scriptures. As you read its words, let every letter sink into your soul and allow it to fill you up. This exercise must not be rushed, take your time, for burning out also causes your spirit to be out of alignment with God; the Bible will begin the realignment process.
The next step in our spiritual realignment is having intimate communication with the Almighty. It is essential to have a debriefing with our Divine General. Here we report to Him what it is that going on in our lives and in the ministry and He in turn will encourage us as well as show us where improvements are needed.
As much as we would like to be like the Energizer Bunny, our finite bodies prevent us from going and going. Rest is essential for all of us who do the work of the Lord. Don’t be afraid to take a break for God won’t hate for it. He wants us to be at our best and the only way this can be done is to have from time to time a little R and R: Rest and Reflection.