When You Feel Burned Out

I am currently on a sabbatical from my church. I’m grateful for this unusual season they have given me to recharge, reset, and rejuvenate. The process for this planned time away began last fall. As I was preparing and thinking about ministry, the Lord prompted me to schedule a time to “look up” for a while. Even though I felt content and the past 25 years in this particular church role have been fun, it seemed like a good time to take a breather.

As the time for this sabbatical drew closer, I wondered why I needed it. I’m ready to go, do, lead, serve, plan, and organize. Instead, I am in the middle of this break. And though I don’t feel burned out, I have studied burnout enough to know that part of the battle is preventing burnout before it takes root in your life. The verses below can help with both preventing and overcoming burnout.

In the valleys of life, I have known that Jesus is my counselor. We most often speak of Jesus as the mighty counselor around Christmas time. However, I find it helpful to spend time praying to Jesus as one might spend time talking to a counselor. Times with a counselor still have their place, but Jesus is the ultimate counselor; and He provides wisdom, invitation, courage, and victory at every turn. These words of scripture might serve as counseling for you today:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Romans 12:11

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 

John 3:17

Jesus is your counselor. Always be grateful no matter what circumstance you may find yourself in.

If you are feeling burned out or overwhelmed, don’t think too hard about the specific steps. Instead, consider it a general call from God.