Jun 14 7:48 AM
Jun 14 7:48 AM
Jun 14 7:48 AM
Monday, June 14, 2021
Before we start, I just want to established something. I am not the main chef in my house. My wife, Laura, is the one who does the bulk of the cooking in our house and the reason for that is because she's so much better at it than I am. I can remember one time when Laura asked me to help (now I'm a pretty good helper), but this particular time, I wasn't so good. She needed to run out, she was making lentils. They were boiling on the stove, and I had one job to do, which was to watch the lentils and stir them. Well, I got distracted, and I totally forgot about the lentils. After several minutes had passed by without stirring them, I started to smell something coming from the kitchen. I ran in and I looked in the pot, and all of the water had boiled off. Now, I just had a bunch of blackened, stuck together massive lentils that were stuck to the pot. The pot was ruined, dinner was ruined, we had nothing to eat ready that night, and my wife was upset. So, it is very easy to burn lentils and you can burn lentils when three things happen. One, there's too much heat. Number two, the water boils off. And number three, we neglect to stir them. Just like lentils can get burned, so can people.
People can get burned out, and I know so many people today are feeling that way. People get burned out by three things. They become frustrated, they're exhausted, and they neglect their spiritual disciplines. That's what I want to talk to you about today because I believe that burnout can be avoided. We are living in an interesting time right now with COVID. So many of you are working from home, whether it's five days a week, or maybe just a couple of days a week, the lines between work time and family time, they've blurred and they've melted together. And if you're like me, sometimes I find myself working until eight or nine o'clock at night, because those lines have blurred. Some of you have kids or grandkids who are doing school at home online, or maybe a hybrid program. So your relationships are stressed because you're trying to do work, but the kids need help. I know it becomes a very stressful situation for me when that happens. Or maybe you're at a job where you're short handed, and the same amount of work has to get done, but now you've got fewer people to do that same amount of work. Some of you are just plain tired. You've been in this situation for a long time, you're going and going. Because of all of this, you're frustrated, you're exhausted and you've begun to neglect your spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, prayer, worship, and fasting. Some of you are questioning your ability. Some of you are questioning, "Is it time to throw in the towel?" And if you're having any of these thoughts, you may be bordering on burnout. And I want you to know this, you're not alone.
Not only are you not alone, but it doesn't have to be this way. In fact, God doesn't want it to be this way. He wants us to bypass burnout. In the Gospel of Mark, we are given a glimpse of a busy season in Jesus's ministry. Jesus's popularity was picking up and people wanted to be around him. In Mark 6:31, we read, 'Then because so many people were coming and going, they did not even have a chance to eat. He said to them, "Come with me, by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."'
I want to take those three statements that Jesus just said, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" and break them down. Come with me by yourself. Jesus wants to spend time with you. That's right, you and you alone. No kids, no spouse, no parents, no friends, no significant others. Just you and Jesus. Why? So you can have a conversation with him. So you can not only talk to him, but you can listen to him. And we listen to God through our prayer time, through our Bible time. Sometimes we listen to God just by sitting and being quiet. He wants to give you his peace. And I want to encourage you to get away by yourself with Jesus.
Number two, he says "to a quiet place." A place that's free of distractions. A place that is remote or isolated, secluded. Silence your phone, shut off the TV. Maybe you need to close your door if others are around. A place where you can give your full attention to God and listen for his voice. Listening is such a lost art. We've lost the the the skill of listening. We spend more time trying to figure out what we're going to say to people next than we do actually listening. I believe it can be like that with God as well. I want to encourage you to sit quietly, don't say a word, and just listen for the voice of God. Try and push out all distractions. Try for 30 seconds, then 60, then 90 seconds. Try it for a few minutes. As you read your Bible, pray, and just sit and listen and let God speak to you, you will begin to find rest.
And that brings us to the very next point where Jesus said, "and get some rest." Rest is a byproduct of getting away by yourself with Jesus and being in a quiet place. It happens naturally. There's something about the times that I've spent when I'm quiet, alone with Jesus, where he has spoken to me through worship, where he has spoken to me through His Word, where I'm just listening, and I can hear the voice of God, not an audible voice, but I can hear it deep inside my heart. And God answers questions for me, God leads me, God challenges me in those times. And we see in Matthew chapter 11, that the rest that Jesus gives us is rest for our souls. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened," all you who are burned out, "and I will give you rest." He goes on to say, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me." In other words, walk alongside of Jesus, be yoked together with him, strapped together with him. He says, "I'm gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Does your soul need rest today? Get away and spend time with Jesus in a quiet place. I want to encourage you, burnout is avoidable. We just need to get away and spend time with Jesus in a quiet place and you will get that rest. I hope you find encouragement in that today. And don't just have a great day, but go and make a great day!