I am so tired of being the only one who seems to care about serving God, helping others in need, and doing the right thing. I look all around me and no one seems to care about anything or anyone but themselves. Yet, I jump in, feet first in situations, when I feel it is the right thing to do. Sometimes, I feel unappreciated and dismissed as crazy to keep helping. Don’t even get me started on lack of gratitude. Even my spouse doesn’t want to hear another word about me following my heart, in faith. All he sees is my exhaustion and he wants me to put my energy in our family, only, and take care of his needs. I am at the end of my rope, figuratively speaking. I don’t want to deny doing good for God, but I don’t know how to do it all? Any advice?
Drained & Unappreciated
This concern speaks to my heart, because I know what it is like to feel pushed beyond my physical limits for a cause I believe is spiritually worthy, only to be mocked for it by those closest to me; mostly because they feel their needs aren’t being met. It can make you feel like you are alone, misunderstood and not appreciated for your efforts. Worse, the conflict makes you doubt God and it feels like you are losing your strength and ability to discern God’s will for your life.
First, let me say that you are not alone. Not only do many believers find themselves at this crossroads between burnout or pressing on from time to time, but most importantly, God sees your effort and your heart to help others. He is with you always. However, let there be no doubt, this conflict can be a spiritual battle. The work you are doing may not be God inspired, but inspired for other reasons. The best way to get clarity that what you are doing is God’s will, isn’t through physical fighting, arguing, or persevering on the present track that is obviously exhausting you, mentally and physically. It is accomplished by equipping your mind with the right spiritual focus and attitude.
The first step in the right direction is to stop everything you are currently doing and seek the Lord. Pray and prepare to receive the Holy Spirit into your thinking. Pray for discernment on what the Lord is actually asking of you. Then listen for the reply. The Lord does push believers at times to grow us spiritually, but He doesn’t want you burned out to the point of giving up. On the contrary, He longs to see your joy and uplifted spirit for the work He inspires in you. The challenge is accepting and knowing that what you are hearing in Spirit is truly a call to action from God. We can jump in and help those in need, but that doesn’t mean it is always the Lord asking it of us. Sometimes we feel obligated to fulfill every need before us for reasons outside of the will of God. We are human and we can’t be everything to everyone and it truly shouldn’t be about us. We are not equipped to carry the burden of the world on our shoulders, but God is. He sacrificed everything for us, and we are free in Him. Yet, he pinpoints those he wants to take action in certain situations, those whom he asks to impact the lives of others. He asks us to get involved in specific situations, not because He needs us necessarily, but because He wants us to share in the blessing of His love for all mankind. We are simply His vessel, a witness to the miracle of His grace. If we are doing the very thing He is prompting in our Spirit base to do, we receive the reward of being part of His will. When He nudges, and we act, we are blessed and at peace. We are not weary, but uplifted and energized. It is truly a wonderful place to be.
If what you’re doing (for the Lord) drains you and gives no peace then stop doing it and rest in Him. Wait for the nudge. It will be clear as day.
All that being said, life is a balancing act. Sometimes what we feel inspired to do for God, will seem in conflict with other needs in your life. Sometimes you will feel your actions on God’s behalf will go against the grain, create more problems than seem worthwhile. Again, remember that God wants you to thrive. He wants what is best for you and he wants you to honor your marriage and family. So, let God help you with your concerns of your spouse and family as well. Pray to God for guidance on how to meet and care for the needs of your family, while acting on the request of the Spirit. The answer will come, for God is with you. Don’t neglect one over the other, but find compromise by letting your spouse know that what you are doing is important to you, therefore it needs to be respected. Then ask for understanding and be open and willing to find a solution suitable for both. If none can be found in the moment, ask for time to make it up in the future and commit yourself to it. In grace, let reason be your guide. Who knows, maybe your spouse has a role to play in this as well!
If you choose to take my advice, as I believe God is directing, write to me and let me know the outcome. Remember, I am praying for you. Amen
It is In Him, I pray,
You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead.
Life for me now, is about trying to honor God each day before anyone or anything else. It is a place I am happy to be, and it took my lifetime to get here. It will only continue if I continue to pursue the Lord and seek His wisdom and grace each day.
This question about taking action for God brought my biblical response directly to the story of Noah and the Arc. Noah was a righteous man in the eyes of God. Not only was he and his family spared from death in the great flood, because he found favor with God, but God Almighty also gave him a job to do, and Noah obeyed. (Ref. Genesis 6) Some might say he obeyed blindly; never looking right or left but straight ahead, negating the scorn and mockery of people of his time, pushing himself physically and perhaps even mentally to build the Ark, and completing his task without question. It is because of his faithfulness that God blesses us. Because of his actions, God gave humanity a second chance:
“And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”Genesis 8:21-22 NLT
Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Noah gave up, decided what God asked of him was too much for him, or asked God to pick someone else? Do you think Noah understood that his loyalty and faith would be the pivotal point for all humanity or was he simply obedient to the command of God?
Regardless of your answer, Noah’s actions mattered and so do yours.
Have you ever heard God speak to you and you acted on it? Or in a more subtle way, have you felt a “nudge” from the Holy Spirit to do something unexpected? Perhaps not on such a grand scale as building a huge vessel to save creation, but a spiritual push just the same, to do something that wasn’t on your plan for the day? Perhaps you’re in the middle of checking something off your “to do” list and a person comes to mind and you are overcome with a desire to call them. When you do, you realize that person is in crisis or in need of encouragement over a critical decision they are having to make? Now, let me ask the contrary. Have you ignored that voice or nudge and have come to regret it? Did you dismiss it because it seems like a small thing or something you rationalize away as something you can do later?
It may seem like a small thing to you, but to the Holy Spirit, a nudge is not a small thing. It is coming from the spiritual presence within you that links you to Almighty God. The outcome could be the difference between life and death, hope and despair, giving up or giving in, and could have ripple effects for many generations. Only God knows the true extent and purpose of that nudge, and when it comes to you, He is asking you to act. You are being asked to take a step of faith and make an impact. No matter its effect on you personally, the one that you are aware of, God will always be pleased with you and your act of obedience. That counts as a blessing for we Christians.
So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.galatians 6:9 NLT
Even this blog is an act of obedience – a sacrifice of time and responding to the nudge of God. I have been challenged whether or not to continue, but I continue to write and pray over each entry with God, believing it will impact the person intended by God in a meaningful way. Let me know if it is helping you, for that is my driving force to write. Emails for my eyes only can be sent through my personal email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Heavenly Father, It is in You I lift my arms in reverence and praise. I give all honor and glory to You, merciful Lord. I am so grateful for your faithfulness in my life and the lives of all believers. Please help us all to recognize your voice and your call to action. Let us not get discouraged, or act out of selfish ambition or need, but rest in your grace and act as you direct us and be uplifted. We long to grow in this way because we love you and hope to grow ever closer in relationship with You. Thank you for your love and for sharing your grace with us. May your will be done, now and forever! AMEN