I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Brittany Jean-Louis (WITHIN Devotional Writer)
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
We are in the fourth quarter of the year. We have put in the work for the past three quarters and let’s be honest, some of the work has been hard. We have persevered and now here we are. Who’s tired? Who has or is currently experiencing burn out?
Burn out is real, even for Christians. It can be burn out from our work, our families or our personal ministries. So, what exactly is burn out? It is when we push ourselves to the limit and we have nothing more to give to our responsibilities. When burn out occurs we can: lose sense of our Godly purpose, create/harbor resentment toward God and others, have a desire to give up or have feelings of hopelessness and even loneliness.
Being a Christian does not make us exempt from burn out, yet what makes us different from the world is how we manage burn out. There is a higher level of instruction for us to receive rest for our souls. The Bible instructs us on multiple occasions to come to our Savior when we are tired and need a refill.
"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.
A yoke can be defined as a harness used by oxen and other animals to ease the work of carrying a large load. The word yoke was also culturally used to describe submission. When Jesus says, “my yoke is easy,” He is encouraging us to submit to Him in every way. “Easy,” in this Scripture can be described as good opposed to simple. Jesus wants us to know that we are submitting to something good. He is good and has good intentions toward us. His intention is to see us through hard times with identifying Him as the source that will refresh our lives. Furthermore, He is letting us know that submission isn’t this harsh dictatorship, yet a partnership. The Scripture goes on to say that you will find rest through submission. He is saying I am gentle and humble; therefore, we should not be afraid of His leadership.
What a beautiful partnership to be able to lay our burdens down in the presence of our Savior who cares for us. He cares about our stuff. I Peter 5:7 says “Cast all of your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” The things that we worry about, the things that we fuss over and the things that cause us burn out, are the very things He wants us to give to Him. Think about this, God did not design us to have the capacity to carry heavy loads. If we had this ability, we would not need for him to sustain us and we wouldn’t see Him as the only source for everything we need. We are again instructed in Psalms 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
So, how do we manage burn out? We get back to a place of desiring our Father. If sin is causing burn out, repent. If lack of boundaries is causing burn out, become comfortable with saying “no.” If time management is an issue, become a better steward of your time. These things can sever us from the One that can restore us. When these things cause burn out, we can become separated from our Savior which can make it hard to hear Him, experience His presence and receive direction from the parts of our lives that are confusing or uncertain.
We must remain disciples of Christ no matter what pressures we are under in life and remember this verse:
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint" Isaiah 40:28-31.
“God, we thank you for this time of fellowship. We know that every time we come to you and lay at your feet that you see our hearts. You see our minds, our thoughts. We thank you for “seeing us” -seeing beyond the surface and penetrating to the depths of our souls and hearts. Lord, deliver us from burn out. Help us to prioritize what you want us to prioritize. What you see as important Lord, make it important to us. Structure our thoughts. Structure our time. Structure our days. Let us lay aside every weight as you increase our desire for you. The desire that will burn in us forever. In Jesus name Amen.”
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 Peter 5:7
Questions to Reflect on: