Mel and I found this interesting word picture on a recent hike. This tree is burned.
Ever felt that way? Burned-out?
I don’t know what you think of when you hear the words “burned-out” but when I’ve done my best and held on faithfully and trusted and aided and helped and done what I felt led by God to do, and I have gotten criticized and tongue-lashed for my troubles, I just want to give up. It hurts. It stinks. I’m just done with the whole thing. Seriously done. I wonder if the apostle Peter felt that way when Jesus said to him, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Ouch! I’d have been tempted to walk away.
But in Peter’s situation, Jesus had the words of life, and there was no other.
Sometimes in our lives, we really can back off if we’ve been singed by unkind words, or attacked for the way we do things when we feel we’re doing God’s will. I get the impression from talking to friends that this kind of thing happens a lot.
However, backing away from the abuse doesn’t mean we stop serving. It means we might have to find another place to serve, or if the person with abusive words could be right, we might figure out a way to adjust. Or we could consider that the abuse we received was from someone else who was suffering burnout, themselves, and we could give them a pass. It could mean any of these things in different situations. The point is that our call is to serve God and not grow weary in well-doing.
So this poor old burned tree is hosting a birdhouse. It’s likely to stand for quite some time as it is, and it’s still serving, burned though it may be.
Have you ever been burned with such heat that you were tempted to just pull into a hiding place and let the world go by? Believe me, you’re not alone. Hide in here with me and we can continue to serve together.