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Girlfriends in God - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014
Avoiding Burnout
Part 1
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile’ (Mark 6:31, NLT).

Friend to Friend
I sat on the edge of my seat as I watched my son’s first track meet. The crowd was abuzz as moms and dads chatted, waiting for their teens to dash, sprint, or endure the eight laps of the thirty-two-hundred-meter race. But when the boys lined up for the hurdles event, the visiting stopped and the crowd watched with rapt attention. 

Why? In the hurdles event, the stakes were higher. It became less about who would win, and more about who would gracefully leap and clear the metal roadblocks or tip and topple over the intentional barriers. 
 
Hurdles—they are not simply found on the asphalt of track and field but also in the great race called life. As women, we struggle finding balance with our many roles and responsibilities. Our flame of enthusiasm begins to diminish when we are doing more than God intended or when we are doing what God intended, but on our own strength rather than His.

In the Bible we see many who experienced times of burnout. After Jonah’s miraculous delivery from the big fish and prophetic announcement to the people of Nineveh, he sank into a depression and wanted to die (Jonah 4:3).

After Elijah called down fire from heaven that miraculously burned up the sacrifices of Baal, the fire in his own life went dim (1 Kings 18-19). Elijah prayed, “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4). Both of these men wanted to quit.

How do we avoid those same feelings of emptiness and despair? The first step is to realize that it can happen and does happen to the best of us.

What was God’s response to Elijah?  Let’s take a look at 1 Kings chapter 19.

  • He allowed Elijah to sleep (19:5) –rest.
  • He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat (19:5) –refreshment
  • He allowed Elijah to sleep again (19:6) –more rest
  • He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat again (19:7) –refreshment
  • He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing: “What are you doing here?” (19:9) –reflection
  • He spoke to Elijah personally (19:11) –response
  • He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing, again. “What are you doing here?” (19:13) –reflection
  • He told Elijah what to do next (19:15) –redirection
  • He showed Elijah who He had appointed to help him (19:16)

–reinforcement

Let me sum that up:

Rest
Refreshment
Rest
Refreshment
Reflection
Response
Reflection
Response
Redirection
Reinforcement

Girlfriend, exhaustion is epidemic among us gals. I tell you what; let’s talk more about this in my next devotion. For today, just rest in knowing that God has a plan for your life and that He loves you dearly!

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I’ll admit, I’m tired today. I need the refreshment that only You can give. Send the Holy Spirit to reinforce my spirit today! I am expecting His energizing force! Help me to reflect on You and Your goodness all day long.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Go back up to the Rs. What would each one of those look like in your life? Be realistic. I know Hawaii would be a great idea for refreshment, but that probably won’t happen in my life todayJ.

For example: Rest—stop all activities at 8:00 p.m. rather than 10:00 p.m. and soak a long hot bath.

Share your ideas over at my Facebook page. I’m ready to learn from YOU!

More from the Girlfriends
This devotion was taken from my book, Building an Effective Women’s Ministry. If you are a woman in leadership of any kind, you’ll find this book packed with resources and ideas for leading an effective team. And did you know that I have a storehouse of free resources on my website? I have free chapter downloads from most of my books, videos, living life resources, interviews and magazine articles. Check it out at www.sharonjaynes.com and while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for my blog.

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Girlfriends in God
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