“Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath’”. Mark 2:27
One of the things we human beings tend to experience is a thing called burnout. According to Merriam-Webster, burnout is defined as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration”. Dictionary.com describes burnout as “fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity”.
In 1 Kings 18, the Prophet Elijah experienced an incredible victory over the prophets of Baal. Immediately afterwards, he experienced a letdown and fled from Queen Jezebel. How could a man be so bold and brave one moment and so fearful and fragile the next? I believe Elijah was experiencing the symptoms of burnout as defined above.
So how did the Lord have Elijah deal with his burnout?
In 1 Kings 19:5-8, the Bible tells us one of the things that assisted Elijah in his recovery from his condition.
“He (Elijah) lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” 6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.” 1 Kings 19:5-8
The Lord had Elijah rest and tended to his physical needs. Elijah needed a respite from his responsibilities as a prophet of God. According to Mark 2:27, we were created by God to have a day of rest. Rest is not optional, it is essential.
So one of the things that prevents and helps alleviate burnout is rest.
I am going to take a respite from writing blogs for the month of August and will write about burnout after a period of rest.
How are you at resting? Is it time to take a break?
Something to think about…