Matthew 10:24-33, 40-42
“Help! I am burned out, depleted, and empty!” There is nothing left to give, no get-up-and-go. Where once there was a fountain of energy and a never ending stream of enthusiasm and ideas, there is nothing but barren ground and solid rock. Unfortunately this phenomenon is all too common in our churches, affecting both clergy and laity alike. Causes may vary. Jesus touches on some as he addresses his disciples.
They must have hung on Jesus’ every word. They watched him heal a paralytic, a mute and a hemorrhaging woman. He even brought a little girl back to life. Who wouldn’t want to be part of his ministry? When Jesus shared their mission field with them, I am sure they were filled with excitement and anxiety. Then we read how Jesus warns the disciples against the pressures that will threaten them.
Disciples put in hours of work, have high expectations and only the purest intentions, but are not necessarily met with open arms. Few see the fruit of their labor, resulting in burn out. To this our Lord replies: Do not fear; you are doing a good job. Do not fear; you are valuable. Do not fear; you are loved and righteous.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for encouraging us when we feel most exhausted. Amen.