The Battle with Burn-OutJune 20, 2013
In a wicked, violent, and corrupt generation Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was assigned the daunting task of constructing something that had never entered into the imagination of mankind; but no worries, God had the blueprints for this project in His heart, and gave it directly to His servant. We have historically insinuated that it was Noah’s ark, but it really belonged to God; Noah was just the superintendent of the project.
Being the superintendent of such a painstaking task takes time, energy, patience, and perseverance. It is safe to assume that Noah dealt with something that we all deal with from time to time: BURN-OUT.
Most of us do not like to admit it, but we all face the reality of exhaustion, over-extension, and fatigue. If we are not are careful we can become weary in well-doing. Consider Noah’s assignment and how it relates to our own battle with burn-out:
1. It was a Ludicrous Assignment
It is certain that Noah was mocked and scorned for his endeavor. No doubt the world considered Noah odd, strange, and borderline psychotic. He was operating and living in the realm of the unseen and unknown; Noah was living by faith. The world still laughs and mocks at our faith as they label us fanatics. Phillip Yancey said, “Faith is trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Noah’s assignment made sense to the world when the flood came; but Noah’s assignment made sense to Noah before the flood came because he was simply trusting God in advance. Ludicrous? maybe; but life-saving? Yes!
2. It was a Lonely Assignment
Although it made sense to Noah, it still didn’t change the fact that it was a lonely task. There are lonely seasons in serving God. David stood alone while facing Goliath; Shammah stood alone while facing the Philistines; Jeremiah sank alone in the mire while in the dungeon; even Jesus prayed alone in the garden. When we feel like we are the only one doing something we are prone to burn-out. May I remind you however that you are never alone! There is loveliness in loneliness in the fact that we realize in the lonely seasons of life that God is always with us.
3. It was a Laborious Assignment
450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and three stories high, all made out of gopher wood that needs to be chopped down; not to mention the overwhelming task of gathering all the animals. Noah couldn’t sub his work out; he labored intensely over the project God gave. Countless hours, long days, bad backs, splinters, head-aches, time-constraints…oh the pressure of serving God. Noah’s assignment is a sobering reminder to all believers: serving God is not easy. Contemporary Christianity wants to embrace a self-absorbed, egotistical philosophy of service but the truth is we should expect difficulties and adversities. When we fail to prepare ourselves for the challenges of serving God the result will almost always be BURN-OUT.
4. It was a Long-Assignment
Noah was 500 years old when God began calling him; he was 600 years old when he entered into the ark. We are not certain how long this assignment of building the ark lasted, but one thing is for sure: he didn’t build it over night. I believe TIME is the biggest cause of burn-out. We can all handle challenges, assignments, and adversities for a short while, but when those problems occur over an extended period of time it can often result in us becoming distraught.
It will be Worth it After All!
Does your assignment in life seem ludicrous? Do you feel all alone? Has the assignment become hard and difficult to manage? Do you feel like you are never going to finish the job? I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on!! It will be worth it after all is said and done!
Noah and his family went in, the rain came down, and the ark went up, while all the others went down. Noah and his entire family were saved from the judgment of God. There was not only redemption, and rescue in the ark, there was also rest. Noah rested from the assignment that God gave him.
Keep shining your light until Jesus comes. If you are going to burn-out, burn-out for HIM!