Tired? Exhausted? Stressed? Burned out?

woman sitting on chair while leaning on laptop

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sleep disorders are so pervasive in the United States that they now constitute a public health epidemic? Research conducted by the CDC indicates that many Americans experience problems associated with a lack of sufficient sleep. For example:

23.2% of survey respondents (50 million people) reported problems concentrating during the day

11.3% (24 million) indicated lack of sleep interfered with driving

8.6% (18 million) reported that sleep deficiency interfered with job performance.

I have heard from many people who have said to me, “I AM TIRED, I AM EXHAUSTED physically, emotionally, and spiritually.” We are in spiritual and emotional combat because of the pandemic, stressful economics, lack of good sleep, lack of exercise, chaotic politics, violence, protests, not enough time in prayer, bible study, or community, in addition to all the negative news we see and hear every day. Here are several symptoms I have heard from people this past month who are close to burnout:

  • Loss of interest in the Bible
  • Difficulty worshipping and praying
  • Anger, frustration, irritation
  • Doubt, insecurity
  • Isolation and relational distancing
  • Feeling inadequate
  • Fearful and scared
  • Low Energy, tired, exhausted
  • Overwhelmed, fed-up
  • Cynical, bad attitude, grumpy
  • Lack of good sleep

If you have any of these symptoms, you are not alone. The Good News is that the Lord can and will heal us. One of the ways that healing will take place is through worship and His Word. We need the fresh air of prayer and a renewed desire for His Word. The church needs the breath of God. John 20:22 says, “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit” (NKJV).

Authentic worship is essential, and worship and His Word are fundamental. Worship and His Word are the foundation for everything in our life. This hunger to worship God and read His Word is a natural response to the conditions of our culture today. Our society is fearful, confused, chaotic, and wounded, and we are looking for answers.

“Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b).

“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).

“As the deer pants for the water brooks so pants my soul for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).

As our culture challenges us, we need to re-center ourselves on the Great I AM of Scripture (Exodus 3). The Bible teaches us that we are to be “in the world but not of the world” (John 17:14). IF the Lord is Lord of all, THEN worship and His Word must have priority in our lives.

The essence of our call to worship and read His Word requires us to prioritize them as the central activity of our life, embracing the biblical patterns of life that are essential to our health. A life empowered by worship and His Word is a clear witness that Christ’s life and His resurrection is truth, not fiction.

Throughout Scripture, God has called us “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). If we believe there is a call to worship the Lord and know His Word, we must understand that God calls us “to be” IN CHRIST before releasing us “to do” in His name. Remember that spiritual formation precedes spiritual vocation.

Deuteronomy 13:4 says, “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Joshua 22:5, “But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

May I encourage you to set aside at least 15 minutes every day to read His word? Pray, before you start the day and when you end the day. Keep the Lord in your thoughts and heart ALL day. Have a “scripture of the day” to meditate on. Before every meeting, conversation, email, or media post, talk to the Lord, seek Him, and ask Him for help, guidance, and wisdom. Attend church. Participate in a small group. Do not take even one step without the Lord right next to you.

De-stressing together!
Pastor Steve

Here is a quick, simple SELF-QUIZ to help you determine where you might be on a burnout scale. The following quiz can help you rate yourself using a five-point scale that follows each question, where 1 equals “a little bit” and 5 equals “very much so.”

Do you feel like you are on a merry-go-round with little forward movement?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you tire more easily?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you often feel sad for no apparent reason?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you forget appointments, deadlines, and/or lose your personal possessions (car keys) more than normal?
1 2 3 4 5

Have you become increasingly irritable grumpy?
1 2 3 4 5

Have you grown more disappointed in those close to you at home or work?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you have less contact with close friends and family members than you used to?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you suffer physical symptoms like uncommon aches, pains, or headaches?
1 2 3 4 5

Do you find it hard to laugh when the joke is on you?
1 2 3 4 5

Does having fun seem more trouble than it’s worth?
1 2 3 4 5

Scoring. Add up the total number of points from each response.

A score of 0-15 points: You may be stressed out occasionally, but you’re doing fine. Maintain your accountability with someone in your life so you can stay on track.

A score of 16-24 points: You’re a candidate for burnout. You may want to take a step back and assess how to take better care of yourself. It is time to ask for help! It is time to get serious about your self-care.

A score of 25-29 points: You are becoming toast, and you need to think about adjusting your priorities or lifestyle and turn down the heat (stresses). It is time to ask for help!

A score of 30 points or more: You have arrived and are suffering from burnout. Time to talk to someone and take the necessary steps to reduce the stress—you’re in a dangerous place that may threaten your spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Your close relationships are probably suffering. It is past time to ask for help!

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