Seeking God During Workplace Burnout

By Tacoi Bell

This post was written by Tacoi Bell of The Anointed Editorial. To connect with Tacoi, see the information in the bio at the end of this post.

We live in a culture that supports working to the brink of exhaustion. If we don’t subscribe to “hustle culture,” to constant late nights and early mornings, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we just don’t want to achieve success.

Believers also subscribe to this idea. At times, we submit to the culture we see more than we submit to the godly kingdom to which we are citizens. This has resulted in many of us begrudgingly continuing on in the work that God assigned us to do. We no longer pray with joy concerning our next ministry assignment at work. We simply want to clock in, do what is required of us, and go home. We even contemplate quitting when we know God intentionally planted us there. I truly believe God never wanted his children to work to the bone  and this is why it’s important that we seek God when we experience burnout.

God Honors Rest

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:2–3, ESV)

As Christ-followers, every example we could ever hope to follow is found in the Word of God. God gives us an example of the importance of rest in his story  of creation. After working tirelessly for seven days to create the sun, the moon, the earth, and every creature therein, Genesis 2 tells us that God rested. Our Father created everything, including the idea of rest.

We can further see how much rest means to God when we examine the earthly ministry of Jesus. Often when Mark 4 is preached, many sermons are taught on how Jesus showcased his power by commanding the storm to be still. However, I’m amazed that he was asleep and had to be awakened to deal with this storm. All of this was on the heels of a full day of teaching to a crowd of people. Our Savior needed his rest and he was going to get it, even in the midst of uncertain circumstances.

A woman sits in front of a laptop with her her hands on either side of her head.

Seeking God During Seasons of Burnout

In consideration of the idea of rest, Matthew 11:28–30 holds a true gem. It says

‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

Jesus is aware that we must work. But work was never meant to weigh us down. The work that we once used to  do with joy now feels like a burden to our soul, and that was never the design God intended when he told us to love and serve one another. Matthew 11 reminds us that when we feel this way we can find rest for our very souls through Jesus. He also gives us other tangible examples in Scripture:

Prioritizing Self-Care

Everyone has heard the mantra “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” This saying has relevance in the lives of believers. We are told in the Bible that Jesus would often go off alone. The Scriptures say that he would pray, but I like to think that he did more than that. Jesus needed to recharge his battery for the work that God had set out for him to accomplish. The same is true for us: It is never a bad thing to prioritize self-care to ensure that we can properly take care of others.

The Importance of Prayer

As mentioned above, Jesus would often go off into the wilderness alone to pray. Prayer is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the believer, and at times, sorely underutilized. But prayer is our direct line of communication with our heavenly Father who is a great source of encouragement, love, peace, joy, and strength for Christ-followers. We should be constantly plugged into heaven just as Jesus was.

Finding a Community for Support 

Jesus literally built a community of support from scratch. He had twelve disciples with him at all times and when in his final moments, he had his three closest followers with him to lean on for support — though I’m aware that it’s debatable if they truly supported him. The point is that we can’t do anything in a vacuum. We need others around us who can pray for us and inspire us to keep going.

God honors the seasons when we sincerely push to see his will come to pass in our workplaces, but he also honors those seasons where we need to retreat and gain our vigor yet again. Both conditions are necessary and unavoidable. Leaning into wherever we find ourselves still brings glory to God and better equips us for our marketplace mission. 

Featured photo by Resume Genius on Unsplash; in-text photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels


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