For the past few years I’ve been the Director of Administration for our church, and I’ve juggled the roles of pastor’s wife and mom. I love what I do, and I am determined to be the best leader I can, but managing all these priorities can cause soul fatigue.
For the past few months I have been feeling a sense of weariness that I don’t always successfully resolve with sleep or time off. I’m the type of person who will keep working, putting more time and energy into doing the best I can for others without complaining or murmuring. Persevering is what I do best, but if I’m honest, and when I’m truly self-aware, I realize that working in my own strength takes a partially invisible toll on me.
The weariness I feel zaps my strength, endurance, and vigor. It disrupts my schedule and the healthy rhythms in my life, including my gym time (and if there’s anything you don’t want to mess with, it’s my gym time). Many of you have been where I am, and maybe you’re in that place right now. How can we deal with fatigue while balancing the spinning plates in our lives?
As I’ve been thinking and praying about this season of my life, Jesus’s words found in Matthew 11:28-30 have stood out to me in many of my morning devotional times: “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.”
Yes, a vacation, day off, or weekend retreat helps steer us away from fatigue and burnout, but I’ve come to realize those times away will be truly refreshing only if we experience His Spirit’s presence every day. It’s when I abandon my self-dependency that I learn my inner strength comes from doing two things: coming to Jesus and casting my cares on Jesus.
"God uses our circumstances to draw us closer to Him, to increase our faith in Him and help us to be more Christlike.”
What happens when we come to Christ daily? We are strengthened through His supernatural power! God’s power doesn’t merely increase our energy level or our point of exhaustion; His power is wrapped in a peaceful, calming assurance of His presence that allows us to run without weariness, to press on and remain positive when the pressures of life don’t subside.
As we cast our cares on God, He moves in our lives because the very act of casting is an act of trust. When we admit to Him our own insufficiency, we allow God to ease the burdens we so often try to resolve with our own abilities, especially when we feel our strength is depleted and our faith is burning low. I’ve been trying to approach God with arms open, ready to receive whatever He has in store for me and have discovered this is the best way to care for my soul.
God uses our circumstances to draw us closer to Him, to increase our faith in Him and help us to be more Christlike. We must daily recognize our dependence on Him. We cannot live and work in our own strength. Taking Jesus at His word by coming to Him and casting our cares on Him puts us in a position to receive His supernatural strength, and in this simplicity we find the solution to what often seems so complex.
Wayne and Claudene Francis are the Lead Pastors of Life Church New York in White Plains, New York. Life Church is one church in many locations – dynamic, Spirit-filled, and diverse – serving people, developing leaders, and impacting generations. They are excited about Life Church New York’s future as they build and open their first permanent location in the Spring of 2021. To learn more, visit thelifechurch.com.