He (Elijah) replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (1 Kings 19:14, NIV)
It was a disorder I was determined not to experience. It had been coming on for over two years. However, I didn’t want to admit I was susceptible to burnout. Burnout is a weakness, isn’t it? Yet, it was crushing me physically and spiritually. I needed to get away from work, the things and people I’d identified as the cause of the burnout. It was so overwhelming, I was exhausted. Thankfully, the four weeks vacation time allotted hadn’t been expended within the year. Two weeks of vacation might be “just what the doctor ordered.”
During those two weeks, I visited with family and friends. I attended a Christian writers conference in Kentucky. I returned home still exhausted and “hid out” at the parsonage. Returning to work, I wasn’t in much better shape than when I left. What was I to do?
Today, I listened to an old hymn
“When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ‘ere the day is half-done
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of his infinite riches in glory,
He giveth and giveth, and giveth again.”
(Annie Johnson Flint)
I had truly reached the end of my resources and knew I needed to rely upon my God. It took me nearly two years to acknowledge my burnout, it will take some time to be refreshed. However, I think I’m on my way to wholeness again. As I listened, I began to rest in the knowledge that “He giveth and giveth and giveth again. I think I’ll listen to the hymn more often as I “recover.”