Updated: Jul 15, 2021
Have you ever felt tired, stressed and worn out? Does it take greater effort to complete mundane tasks because you feel as if you are pouring from an empty cup?
Water reservoirs need a constant and abundant supply of rain to provide nourishment, strength and sustenance for living things. Intermittent light showers are not enough to maintain acceptable water levels and the reservoir will eventually be depleted to the point where it contains nothing but useless sediment and slosh. If you’ve been ‘adulting’ for some time, you may remember at least one time when you felt like you were giving of your time, energy and emotions, though your internal resources were depleted and not being replenished. Much like a reservoir during a drought, you may be struggling to provide enough sustenance to those who depend on you, and the little that you are able to give may be contaminated or toxic. When you begin to feel dry, worn out and drained, here are four things that you must do.
1. Drink Water
“Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. (John 4:14). This message of Christ to the Samaritan woman at the well, is still true and applicable to us. Dryness I believe is often due to overexertion in an area outside of God’s will. Operating in a space where we aren’t called or gifted, usually means that we are labouring in our own strength, and that is sure to cause exertion. Drinking from the fountain of living water who is Jesus Christ, means going to Him as our source for meaning and direction in our lives. We must run to the Word of God to refresh us when we feel dry, to strengthen us when we are weak and to lead us when we feel lost. God is your refreshing, and the thirst you have can be filled by seeking Him and His wisdom, for every area of your life. His voice of wisdom will tell you, “take a break”, “say no to that request”, or “go to sleep and don’t worry about that thing.”
It is wisdom to know when to work and when to rest. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” We must decipher when our exertion is self-inflicted because of defiance to, or ignorance of, a simple command to rest in and trust God. Psalm 23:2 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” The rest and refreshing that we desire when we feel as though we are pouring from an empty cup, is fulfilled by humbly approaching the throne of Grace with a simple prayer, “help me Jesus, I can’t do this on my own.” Then we must trust in and rest in His ability. You will get more done in His rest than in your work, because the latter is self-reliance and the former is Christ-reliance. Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel reinvigorated. It is one of the things that no one can do for you, and it will improve your endurance, alertness and self-confidence. The exhilaration and positivity that you feel after a workout, as great as it may be, cannot compare to the short and long-term gains of exercising our spiritual muscles. We exercise our spiritual muscles through prayer and study of the Bible. That may sound clichéd, but every cliché has so been coined because of truth resident at its core. Physical exercise increases muscular strength, regulates your blood glucose, and strengthens your heart, but the word of God strengthens your spirit. It transforms negative self-talk, depression, feeling unappreciated and overlooked, and every other emotion that underlies your feeling of emptiness. The aridity of which I speak cannot be cured by sleep, but it will be alleviated by knowing who you are, why you exist and who God has called you to be. The starting point is knowing God through His Word and communicating with Him through prayer. If you’re tired and worn out, try to get in some exercise.
Find strength in those around you. Understand that we aren’t meant to be alone and that God encourages us to fellowship with like-minded persons, who can build us up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” and Hebrews 10:25 says that we must not “neglect our meeting together … but encourage one another.” In your socialising and connecting you may realise that others may be similarly challenged, and you may even glean wisdom from those who were once there. Isolation and dryness are a telling sign that you need the support that camaraderie offers. As you seek to reach out, desire quality over quantity because genuine connection with just one person can contribute to the refreshing that your soul desperately needs. Socialise with those who will listen to you, encourage you and strengthen you. “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counsellors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14) Get together with brothers and sisters of faith who will encourage you to drink from the living water who is Jesus Christ, to rest in God and to exercise your spiritual muscles.