How many of you are feeling tired, worn out, like you are burning the candle at both ends and possibly in the middle as well? My hand is right up there with you! I have days where I feel like I've totally got all this handled and other days when I just stare at the wall because I can't fathom finishing everything on my list so clearly the answer is to do nothing... right?
Or what about those of you with heavier struggles. You are watching your child battle a health issue. You lost your main source of income. You are burying a dear friend. Your marriage is strained. You don't have any fight left in you to go on another day.
Dear sweet friend, I want to wrap you in my arms and hug and cry with you! But have faith for you are not alone. When you feel yourself burning out, when you aren't sure you can endure much more of the same I encourage you to do these three things:
1. Cry out to God
He knows your struggles and he knows your weaknesses. He is always waiting for you to call on him. We humans are a stubborn folk and forget that we don't need to carry these burdens ourselves nor do we need to have the answers. He will carry our burdens and already knows the answers.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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
God doesn’t want you to feel weighed down by your troubles but to find peace in him. The troubles may still be here but the you will find peace when you give them over to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
2. Soak up the Word
I love living in a time and place where the Bible is literally at my fingertips - nearly 24/7. I use the Bible App on my phone and tablet and can search any word or phrase. If I want to find a verse about joy I can pull up the app, open up the search bar, type in “joy” and have hundreds of verses for me to scroll through.
Same goes for the devotionals - I open up the tab marked “devotionals” then click on “discover.” From there I can go through the ones listed or use the search icon to type in a word and find a devotional relating to it. There are hundreds, if not thousands of devotionals covering every topic you could want to study.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22
The Bible is the living word of God. It is active and ready to move when you approach it. God is ready to speak to you, to give you the strength you need. Read the Word and soak up God’s strength. Memorize passages to call on whenever you need them.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. Psalm 18:32
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
Write the verses down and post them as reminders of the powerful God we serve. Tuck them in places where you can stumble upon them later like in a random book, a kitchen cupboard, or in a pile of clean laundry. Create or buy art for your walls with verses that are especially meaningful for you and your family so you can see God’s word each time you pass by. These verses will become buried in your heart and mind to be called on later when you need them.
3. Take care of yourself
Self care is incredibly important and don’t let that little voice in your head tell you that it’s selfish to rest or do something you enjoy! We need to fill our own tanks if we want to be able to pour into others and during a stressful season this is even more true. We are called to love others as we love ourselves but this means we need to show ourselves love too!
What do you love doing to relax or have fun? Do you enjoy painting? Music? Reading? Working out? Perhaps you find yourself refreshed after a day of being creative in the kitchen. Or maybe a long soak in a bubble bath helps you focus again. How about spending the day outdoors? In the garden? Maybe it’s taking in a sporting event or even playing a sport yourself. Getting together with a friend can be refreshing. The possibilities are nearly endless!
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Ecclesiastes 9:10
Please don't continue to struggle alone. Give your burdens to God, seek his wisdom, and fill your own tank. Ask for prayers, and more physical help if applicable, from friends and family. You are not alone and there are people in your life that God will use to renew your strength.
How do you find new strength when you feel you can't go on any longer? What are your favorite ways to fill your own cup?