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How to Go From Burnout to a Second Wind

Posted by Care Net on Jan 23, 2015 10:43:00 AM

Care-Net-Logo-40th-ANNIVERSARY-01Guest Post by Susanne Maynes

Remember when it all began? Remember when the Lord called you to be a voice for the voiceless? His concern for the least of these filled your heart. So you rolled up your sleeves and invested yourself deeply and wholeheartedly into pro-life ministry.

You started this race with great zeal.

The cause was so exciting that you soon found most of your prayer life centered on the needs of the ministry. You often found your thoughts occupied with the center after hours, on the weekends, even in the middle of the night. You knew the stakes were high. You understood you were fighting for lives and souls.

You felt purposeful and fruitful, maybe more than ever before in your life.

But it’s been some time now, and the honeymoon has worn off. Things are harder. You feel overwhelmed with financial concerns and wondering how to pay the bills. You feel the stress of clashes with pro-choice people in your community. You wish churches would be more than half-hearted in their support of the ministry.

Volunteers come and go. You are beginning to feel you can’t depend on anyone anymore. The extra hours, the consuming thoughts, the heavy concerns are all taking their toll.

Gradually, insidiously, the cause that once fired you up is now consuming you.

And you’re tired. So very tired.

Somehow, the brightly blazing fire in your heart has turned to a pile of barely-warm embers. And you’re wondering if you can still do this.

This is what the Lord says, in Isaiah 42:1-3:

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”

Maybe you feel like that smoldering wick today. Maybe you have just enough strength to go through the motions. Take comfort. The Lord won’t snuff you out.

Instead, Jesus wants to cup his hand around you today and gently breathe on you by his Holy Spirit. He wants to bring the flame of your soul back to life, bright and strong and beautiful. And he doesn’t want to do this just so he can get more work out of you.

He wants to do this because he loves you.

You see, you are one of the lives he is so concerned about. Perhaps today, in your weariness and despair, you feel like one of the “least of these.” Perhaps you recognize that your soul is one that God wants to rescue and heal.

Your weakness provides the Lord with the perfect opportunity to fill you with his strength. Your inadequacy leaves room for his more-than-adequacy. He sees your tears as a heartfelt, worshipful offering to him.

Be encouraged, dear sister or brother. The race is not over yet. You may need to sit for a spell under the shadow of God’s wing, but he will restore you.

May I pray for you?

Father, you see the weariness of body and soul in my sisters and brothers. Would you cup your hand around these precious ones and breathe on them anew? God of all hope, would you bring the flame of hope back to life in their souls?

Would you bless them with health, strength, and renewed perspective? Thank you, dearest Father. Amen.


 

Susanne Maynes is the Counseling Director at Life Choices Clinic in Lewiston, Idaho. She blogs on faith, life and relationships at www.susannemaynes.com.

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