“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Over the last week, I have watched 3 firework shows and I’ve basically been in heaven! If you read my last post (read it here) you’ll know that I LOVE fireworks more than almost anything else in the entire world.
During the last firework show that I watched, God really opened up my eyes to something I had never noticed before.
As a firework is lit, it goes flying up in the air with all kinds of gusto. It is bright, full of light, and exciting! But right before the main event of the firework exploding in the air, something happens. It looks like the firework is about to run out of steam.
Imagine that you have NEVER seen a firework before (that would be a sad life); when watching it for the first time, you may think that when it gets to this point, that’s it. That the main event has already occurred and that the firework is over.
Time to light the next one!
But we all know that this is just the moment before the big explosion.
To quote Katy Perry, “Baby you’re a firework” (you must sing it in your head or it’s not real). Although I’m sure she didn’t have the same thought process in mind, she was totally right!
We’ll come back to the firework in a moment, but answer this with complete honesty: how many times have you felt burnt out? It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot in the Christian community, but basically it’s that feeling you have when your passion is gone, all motivation has left you, and you have no desire to pursue that thing anymore. It can happen in ministry, school, work, or even just life in general.
If you have ever experienced this feeling, you know that it sucks. If you have never experienced it, congratulations! But keep this post tucked away because chances are that you will.
I don’t mean to be a Debby-downer, but the fact that Jesus addresses feeling burnt out in this verse makes me think that He knows we will face it. But when He mentions it here, He doesn’t just say, “Are you burnt out? Well that sucks! Good luck!”. He is a gracious God. He tells us that if we feel that way (among many others), that we are to rest in Him.
Back to the fireworks. As I was talking about earlier, there is that moment of silence before the big boom. The lights fade, the sounds are nonexistent, and for a brief moment, there is nothing. A lot of times when we are feeling burnt out, this is where we live. We live in this moment of silence. We feel as though our passion has faded, the motivation is nonexistent, and we feel as though we can do nothing.
Believe me, I get it! I’ve been there! I’ve been there recently! It is one of the worst feelings ever. But the best part? We don’t live there forever.
As we’ve discussed this brief moment of silence before the big boom of the firework, you’ve probably had to think really hard about where that moment is in a firework. You’ve probably never sat and thought about it. You may have even had to watch a youtube video to figure out what the heck I’m even talking about because it is just that brief.
Although this season of burn out might seem crazy long in your life, it is just that brief.Although this season of burn out might seem crazy long in your life, it is just that brief. Click To Tweet
Disclaimer: I know that you have seen some individuals who you know didn’t have a season of burnout that was just that brief, but it’s a decision that has to be made. You can live in the season of burnout for a long time if you don’t make a decision to change. But if you follow this verse and do what Jesus says to do when you’re feeling that burn out feeling, He will take care of the rest.
Back to the regularly scheduled program.
After that brief time of silence, what happens next to the firework? The bright, colorful, beautiful big boom that we have all been waiting for happens! From this beautifully broken place comes a powerful explosion that takes your breath away!From this beautifully broken place comes a powerful explosion that takes your breath away! Click To Tweet
Without that silence period, there would have never been a grand finale. Without this season of difficulty, there will never be a season of victory. You are walking through your greatest challenge in order to see your greatest triumph. Don’t stop walking. Don’t be a dud firework.Without this season of difficulty, there will never be a season of victory. You are walking through your greatest challenge in order to see your greatest triumph. Don't stop walking. Click To Tweet
The next time you feel burnt out, discouraged, or disheartened, remember that the best part of the firework comes right after the silent period. Your greatest moments in life come right after the hardest times. Don’t give up before you get there.Your greatest moments in life come right after the hardest times. Don't give up before you get there. Click To Tweet
The world may be waiting for your “boom” moment, just as thousands of people stand in wait for a good firework show.
All the right ingredients for a good firework are still inside of you. They’re just waiting on the right moment to create an explosion so large and so powerful that it shakes the whole town. Embrace this season and look forward to the next.