Exhaustion. That pretty much sums up many of us, including me. I work 40-60 hours a week at my real job (the one that pays me) and still come home to cook, clean, laundry, check on the kids at college, write a blog for the next day, and crawl into bed totally exhausted so I can get up and do it all again the next day. Not to mention the busy and hectic holidays are just around the corner. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my job and I am humbled that God has called me to begin Wellspring Christian Ministries. Even though I know I am doing what God has called me to do, it can be exhausting.
No matter what God has called us to do, we need to remember that we need to have times to renew our strength so we can keep on serving Him instead of getting burned out, discouraged, and quit. God modeled the need for rest after he created the world. In Genesis, we find that God rested on the seventh day. We also see in the New Testament where Jesus would get alone by himself to rest…and pray. Jesus was fully God, but He was also fully man while he walked this earth and His earthly body became tired, exhausted, just as our do.
There’s a term going around entitled, “Compassion Fatigue” which involves a chronic stress as a result of care giving. Those who work in a field that involves caring for others often give so much of themselves without taking time to care for themselves that they become fatigued. As a result, the world talks about “self-care.” While it’s important to care for ourselves, as Christians, we renew our strength to keep serving God when we come before Him in silence. Isaiah 41:1a says, “Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength.”
When life gets busy we can sometimes find it difficult to take time to just sit in silence before God and allow Him to renew our strength. I have learned to start out my day with time to read the Bible, listen to how the Holy Spirit is speaking to me through His Word and then just sit silently. The silence usually gives way to praising. Praising gives way to worship and worship leads to praying. I have come to value this time alone with God and I get up before anyone else in the house is up so it’s just me and God in the first hour I’m awake. Since, I’ve began starting my morning this way, I can tell the difference in my day. If my alarm doesn’t go off because I forgot to plug my phone up the night before and I wake up in a rush to get to the office and neglect this hour of my morning, my entire days seems to be a struggle. But with this quietness before God every morning, I find the strength to conquer whatever comes in that day.
As we start a new week, let me encourage you to set your alarm clock a little earlier and take time to read His Word, listen for what the Holy Spirit says to you through it and then just sit silent before God. It doesn’t have to be an hour. When I first started this, I probably spent fifteen minutes. But it didn’t take long before those awkward minutes turned into more minutes and before I knew it, I was spending an hour with God every morning…without even realizing how much time went by. If you need a good book to help you get started, try one of these:
- Before Amen, by Max Lucado
- Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
- The Circle Maker & Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson
- The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz
- The Battle Plan for Prayer by Steven Kendrick
Together, these book led me on a journey that has changed my prayer life. I hope they will change yours too.