Exodus 31:17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”
You've heard it often - "Even God has to take a break once in a while."
We are built to work and to rest and we need to be about both of these things. I've neglected the latter at times, and it usually comes back to get me.
A friend sent me a book by Wayne Cordeiro entitled Leading On Empty. I've been a little "extra" stressed lately, but I don't think I'm near to the point of stress that is displayed in some of the stories in this book. And yet, I've found some preventive things in this book that I think will be a huge help in ministry. So if your feeling a little stressed, here's some things to consider:
1. Solitude is a healthy and prescriptive discipline; Isolation is a symptom of emotional depletion.
Intentionally getting away to spend time with God and to renew and refresh your soul is a great thing. Escaping from cares and worries by hiding or running away is a sign that you are heading for depression. What are you seeking solitude or isolation?
2. Draining and Refilling.
What drains you? What fills you?
Pastor Cordeiro gives examples of both in his ministry. For him excessive counseling was an example of something that drains, while dinners with his wife was an example of something that fills.
Over-empathizing has been draining me a lot these days. Listening to and playing music is something that refills me. We all will be drained, and we all need to be refilled. If you are not refilling, eventually your engine will stop. What can you do this week to refill?
3. Concerns and Personal Responsibility
"When we mis-define concerns as personal responsibilities, it will eventually confuse us and diffuse our energies"
Pastor Wayne shares these concerns: A Neighbor's messy yard, a teacher's inability to keep a student's attention, what we think others feel about us. These things are concerns, not personal responsibilities. So what do we do with concerns that are becoming worries? We take them to God regularly, until he grants us peace.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7