Renewable Energy

We’re tired. Running around all the time, not standing still longer than a three minute video on your Facebook feed, and spending so much time pouring into others that we forget to fill ourselves. You see we all get tired. As leaders this can be dangerous, we have a duty, a responsibility towards those we lead to guide them. In your personal life, physical rest is vital to simply functioning as normal people. In our social lives it can make us not enjoy the moments in front of us. So, what do we do? The past two weeks I have been tired, but I found a source of renewable energy. Now before I continue, yes the title of this post may be a little deceiving. So if you came here thinking this was about the hot topic issue of finding renewable resources, hehe, I’m talking today about renewed energy that comes from Christ. The past two weeks I have been on a high school camp one week, and the next on an Elementary camp. After the camps I took a journey up to Virginia to see my brother-in-law graduate, and then participate on serve day with our church. It was a lot, I’m still catching up on sleep (ish). The past two weeks have been incredible and God has taught me so much in the midst of physical tiredness. In that mindset of needing energy each day, I had to come each morning and ask God to give me all that I need for that day to lead and serve others the way he wants me to. You see, God gives us all that we need when we abide in him, he is the source of our renewable energy.

We have such a cool God, we have a God that cares for us each day and loves us with a grace unlike anything else. He wants to be in a relationship with him daily, he wants us to come to him, and when we come, he provides. I think about the Israelite’s in the Old Testament, each day God would provide mana from heaven for their food that day. Each day he gave them all they needed and they didn’t have to worry about the next day and save up the mana, because he promised to provide for them. The same is true for us. While we aren’t having food fall from the sky in a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs type scenario, but God provides energy each day for us to carry on. I know this because Jesus said it to us. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When we come to Christ, we find rest and energy that we need each and every day.

Abide in Him.

I love words and the meanings behind them. The word abide means to act in accordance with, or to continue without fading or being lost. John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” I love that scripture uses this word because it describes exactly what we need to do. We simply need to abide in Christ. Practically this looks like spending each day in God’s word, reading and meditating on the words that provide guidance for our lives. We need to spend time in prayer, a conversation, for God to fill us each day and give us the strength to make it through whatever life may be throwing at us. It’s simple, reach out to him, and he reaches out to you. So in the moments when you feel tired, reach out, and abide in him.

Take time to retreat.

This one is huge. For a long time I thought it was selfish to take time for myself, but I have learned that this is vital for my spiritual health and rest. As a leader, you cannot pour out without refilling yourself. This is what creates a burnt-out leader, a leader who is giving without having anything put back in. Imagine if you exercised without eating, without food you have nothing to burn for physical energy. The same is true with our spiritual health. We need to realize that we have to take time to be poured into, to step back and read books that teach us, listen to podcasts on leadership, and spend time in worship. This is easy for me to comprehend because I am introverted by nature. After a long time with others, I feel drained and have to retreat in order to refill. It’s not that I don’t love being around people, I just know my limits. We as leaders need to understand our limits, because once we discover that, we can prepare and protect ourselves from burnout.

Find community.

A common theme you may notice in my blog is the importance of community. I stress this because it is a key aspect of our life. Community is a place where fellowship is and where life happens, we build relationships that are life-giving. In a Godly community, we can join together and spur each other towards reaching our potential. Community gives life. Find a community, a small group where the true nature of the church can be found. In a small group, you will find the encouragement to press on in the times when you feel tired.

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We are tired people, because we forget to rest in the grace of Christ. We run around so much that we forget where life is found. Life is found in the arms of God, reaching out for us to give us all that we need each day. The word says that God feeds the birds of the air, and the birds never fear where it will come from. We need to remember that God provides all we need, even in the midst of hard times. We need to remember to abide in him, take time to pour into ourselves, and find a life-giving community. When we stop and live in Christ, he gives us all we need. He is our source for renewable energy of the spirit and body. So today as you find yourself dragging and feeling worn out, remember that Christ gives us a renewed spirit when we trust in him.

Live today knowing that God will take care of every aspect of you.

-Joshua Thomas

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