Monday, October 21, 2019


Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NASB
It takes a lot of energy to handle what is thrown at us on a daily basis. While some things wear us down, we seem to have a lot more energy in doing the things we love to do or doing things for people we love. 
There are limits, however, to our strength and yet, sometimes we have to continue living when the strength for living seems to be gone.  When we are wrung out emotionally, physically and spiritually and yet still have to continue life becomes a real burden. When we get in this condition, we can lose our hope quickly. It happens in work, marriage, child-rearing, caregiving, and even ministry. Sometimes what once gave us great joy becomes a burden and chore.  Vision, passion, and purpose become buried in the muddy day to day stress of life.  Life comes with troubles and we humans complicate things even more along the way.  
Burnout can become a real problem and cause of serious issues in our lives. Two definitions are:
“A state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” - Ayala Pines & Elliott Aronson
“A state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward.” – Herbert J Freudenberger
These definitions embrace the essence of burnout, with the first stressing the part that exhaustion plays in it, and the second stressing the sense of disillusionment that is at its core.  As you can see, this is not just a workaholic term.  Burnout happens when we give too much of our self away in any situation.  God made remember the Sabbath and keep it holy one of the ten commandments for a reason.  We have to rest and let God restore our souls, fill our cups, if we are to be effective in anything we do - including our job, parenting, relationships, and ministry. 
Many of us get our sense of identity and meaning from our work, a relationship or a cause. We may have started with high ideals or high ambitions and may have followed these with passion. We usually set high expectations for these in our hearts and minds.  
A truth in life is that few things in life end up as expected. The quicker we learn that lesson the better off we are.  Some pour all of themselves into trying to make things turn out to meet their expectations. Then they end up depleted, disappointed, and disillusioned when it doesn’t happen. Finally, you reach the end of yourself. It is the realization that your ideas, your strength, your will, your desires, your efforts are not sufficient to make your marriage, your child-rearing, your career, your ministry, your LIFE work. It is coming to the point of no longer kidding yourself and facing the fact that your belief system has flaws in it. This may be followed by a downward spiral of disappointment, anxiety, depression, failure, and insecurity that leads to more disappointment, deeper anxiety, depression and more failure. People caught in this cycle are unable to break loose without the rescue of Jesus Christ.  He alone is sufficient to provide us with what we need.  He alone gives us our true identity.  He alone can restore our empty disappointed souls and fill us with abundant goodness and joy.  He can make us new and bring our focus back to where it needs to be.  He gives us rest and takes the heavy yoke we are trying to carry.  Look to Him for unmet expectations and trust Him with your disappointment.  He is the only one who can meet all our expectations and provide the satisfaction we long for.  

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