Happy Memorial Day!
Last Thursday, we shared with you 10 signs that you might be emotionally exhausted. These signs were present in the Old Testament prophet Elijah after he exhausted himself confronting 450 prophets of the pagan god Baal. So, what do you do if you realize you’re emotionally exhausted? (Possibly eating 30 hotdogs today with close family at a cookout? lol).
When Elijah became emotionally exhausted, God led him to do three things that helped him recover—and they’re things that can help you recover, too, when you’re at the end of your rope. Rest your body. In the world’s most famous psalm, the Bible says of God, “He makes me lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2). Sometimes God must make you lie down because you’re unwilling to do it on your own. You can’t be spiritually and emotionally strong while you’re physically depleted.
That’s what happened to Elijah. God did not scold Elijah. God didn’t say, “Come on, man. You’re just having a pity party.” He simply let Elijah sleep. The Bible says about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5, “Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep”. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do when you’re emotionally exhausted is to take a nap.
Release your frustration. Elijah didn’t hold anything back. He didn’t filter his feelings. He talked to God about his frustrations. Here’s the point you can’t miss about this Scripture. God isn’t shocked when you complain to him. He’ll listen to you until you run out of words. Let everything out. God can handle anything you throw at him. Remember and refocus on God. When you’re emotionally exhausted and nearing burnout, you need to remember what God says and who he is. When you do that, you shift your eyes away from your problem and toward Jesus. You get a fresh awareness of God’s power, presence, and personality. You need to see that far more than you need to see your problems.
Read 1 Kings 19:11-13 above. In these verses God demonstrated his power firsthand to Elijah. The Lord showed him who was in control. When you’re struggling through burnout, it’s often because you’re trying to play God and control everything. When you refocus on God, you realize he is in control. You can stop exerting your own control. If you’re feeling burned out and emotionally exhausted, God hasn’t forgotten you. Just like he did for Elijah, God stands ready and willing to help you.