“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” — Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)
In our noisy, fast-paced, interconnected world, a lot of people suffer from burnout. Often we don’t see the signs of approaching burnout until we’re nearly shut down. We miss this lovely, daily invitation from God to rest in green pastures, to walk beside quiet waters, and to be continuously restored by Him.
This place of restoration isn’t a distant vacation date on the calendar, where we try to white-knuckle our way through life until that longed-for rest time appears. Often we are so burned out we can’t even enjoy our vacation time when it arrives. We don’t know how to slow down and let go. If we manage to successfully unplug for one week of vacation, the shock of going “back to life” overwhelms us.
When we choose to walk with God as our shepherd, restoration and rest are part of daily life. We don’t need to cycle in and out of burnout. We are invited to live from a place of rest.
This means spending quiet time with God daily. Getting adequate sleep. Taking care of ourselves as we go through each day. Knowing when to take a break, when to say no, when to power down, how to work from a deep place of rest.
If we are living from rest, we keep company with people who lift our spirits. We allow the Lord to guide the rhythms of each day. Rest and restoration mean disconnecting from the treadmill of life, and choosing instead to walk with our living Lord and Savior, being fully present with Him in each day.
Things will still get done. More things; better things. Look how much Jesus did when He walked on this earth, and yet He knew to get away for quiet time with God; He laughed and enjoyed time with His companions; and He did only what God led Him to do each day. What a great model we have in Him.
God knows how to give us rest and restoration as we walk through daily life. He knows how to keep us from burning out and to keep the fire of His Holy Spirit burning beautifully in us. This might come through ways we don’t expect, but we will discover how to live from God’s rest if we focus on Him and let Him guide us.
Society has taught many of us to equate rest with “lazy.” If you are heading toward burnout (or already in burnout), I would expect that “lazy” isn’t your problem. Rest and lazy are not the same. Self-care and couch potato are not the same. Ask God to show you the difference, and let Jesus model for you His best way to live.
Your shepherd wants to restore you. Daily. Will you let Him?
Lord, forgive me for choosing a path that constantly leads to burnout. I choose instead to walk with You and live by Your rhythms of life. Guide me through each day, showing me how to work, live, and be from a place of rest. Help me get out of the cycle of burnout and into the peace of Your Holy Spirit. Lead me to those green pastures and still waters that You have provided for me in daily life. Open my eyes to see those oases of rest and draw my heart to meet You there each day. Restore my soul. Thank You for always loving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Thought for the Day
Where has God placed green pastures and quiet waters in your daily life? What is one way you can meet Him there today?
Copyright © 2020 by Janet Eriksson
Janet Eriksson is an intercessor, writer, and teacher in Dahlonega, Georgia. She loves conversation with friends, front porch swings, sweet tea, and spending time on lakes and rivers. The author of nine books and editor of many more, Janet blogs and teaches at https://adventureswithgod.blog/. She enjoys volunteering with Transformations. Janet received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary.
For more inspirational and encouraging reading, we invite you to read our Spring 2020 issue of Reflections.