Spirit – Pastor Pushie
Fatigue — be it physical and mental — is real. When it hits, learn to rest not quit, says Pastor Pushie!
The Bible says Jesus was tired. Have you ever been tired? I don’t mean just exhausted. You know the kind that sleep can’t fix, where you wake up drained? Recently, I’d wake up weary after a full night’s sleep. I began to wonder how a person who had slept so well, could possibly be exhausted in the morning and unable to do anything — even simple things felt like a chore. I battled between gratitude for all my many opportunities, and disinterest in receiving one more text message. My phone filled up with unopened emails, texts, and messages from people wanting to meet up for coffee, or needing my help, financial aid or prayer. And as much as I’m a people’s person, as much as it’s my desire to meet and help each one, as much as it’s against my nature not to help, I had to stop responding. It became apparent that if I had to call, counsel, have coffee and pray for everyone, or accept another invite, I would probably explode. For so long I had prayed, “Use me Lord.” And now I was complaining about that privilege. The guilt and feeling of ingratitude further piled on the pressure I’d put on myself. I felt drained and totally spent.
Pastors aren’t expected to get fatigued. Neither are mothers, or fathers. Everyone just expects you to be a mom or a wife, to be a dad, to provide, cook, feed, counsel, give or go to work. No one ever wonders how you do it all; especially when you’re a single mother. Yet if you
keep running and never refuel, eventually the engine will burn out. You might not feel it initially, but sooner or later it catches up with you.
This is not as simple as being physically worn out. Because if it was, sleep would cure it. I’m referring to being mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. I know you can be spiritually weary because Genesis says, “The Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the earth” and “God created the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day, He rested.” If the Spirit could get tired, if it could happen to Jesus, then no matter how strong and spiritual you are, you know you can get burnt out too. Jesus said, “Somebody touched me, I know because power has gone out of me.” It’s not the 35 minutes I preach for. It’s the three to five hours I need to prepare. It’s not the message I preach, but the power that’s released when I do.
The Bible says in John 4 that Jesus was tired from the journey and He rested by the well while His disciples went to town to buy food. That tells me He wasn’t physically tired, because then the disciples would have been too. Jesus was tired from working – teaching, and healing, baptising and casting out demons, and no one knew it. People will demand and take without considering you. Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do. But the greater your responsibility, the more intentional you have to be about taking care of yourself. This is why I believe that Jesus often withdrew to a lonely place to be alone with God because He needed to refuel. You have to be intentional about protecting yourself. If I lift weights, I can probably handle five to 18 kg. But when it reaches 27 kg, if you add another two kilos, I might crumble. Sometimes you’ve had so much weight on you, you just can’t handle one more thing.
So Jesus rested by the well. And a Samaritan woman who had had five husbands, and the one she was with wasn’t her own, comes to draw water. She is thirsty. But Jesus doesn’t judge her, she’s obviously been looking for love in all the wrong faces and places. Jesus knows she’s searching. Sometimes people are too proud to admit that they have a need. But the Bible says, “God will meet all your needs according to His riches.” And until you have a need, until you’re empty, until you can be honest about your lack, God can’t fill you with more of Him. It’s not a sin to be empty or in need, you just have to be filled up by the right thing. And Jesus begins to pour into her. He pours in so much that when He’s done, she runs back to the town and starts evangelising, talking to people who had previously shunned her. The Bible says, ‘Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.’ John 4:39.
So when you’re tired, learn to rest, not quit. Drink from the well again, and be refilled. I pray you become a deep well that contains fresh water that never runs dry, but is able to nourish others in every season.
Love, Pastor P
The greater your responsibility, the more intentional you have to be about taking care of yourself.