There are times in our lives when even a job we love can feel overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes the stress and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, mental health issues and loss of motivation. If you are experiencing any of these signs, please contact your doctor for job burnout prevention and treatment. Here is my current struggle with job burnout | when work feels like a burden.
The past week or so has been immensely helpful for many reasons, but two things have stood out to me in a unique way. The first being that dependence on God on a daily basis is essential, necessary, and a good thing. Why do I say this? Here’s a bit of backstory on my life as of recent.
Even My Dream Job is Overwhelming
I currently intern at the church I attend and have a good amount of responsibility. It is an absolute dream to be able to serve the people in the church and utilize the gifts God has equipped me with. But, it’s still hard. It’s hard to stay committed to pursue excellence, even when it is something I truly enjoy. Because I am simply human.
What to Do When You Have Too Much Work
As of recent, it has been especially difficult because I am also a full time student with another part time job. Catching up on homework and managing my time has felt like a huge drain on my energy and vitality. All of my classwork revolves around the Bible (as I’m studying to be a pastor) and in theory, this should all be fun! What a privilege it is to study the bible and become equipped to teach and spread Gods message! But alas, even that has felt like a weight on my shoulders because of multiple weeks of classwork having to be made up due to family emergencies (and the snowmageddon storm that happened in the great state of Texas).
The two things that brought me immense joy, both revolving around God, have felt like a burden on me. But how? How could the very things that I cherish be the reason for my heart feeling such a burden? Because I failed to remember that God is both present, but also cares for me deeply and the work that I do. This is the most important thing to remember when struggling with job burnout | when work feels like a burden.
Work is Good for You!
God considers work to be a good and honorable thing for you and me to partake in. This is first seen in Genesis 1 immediately after the creation of Adam and Eve. Genesis 1 displays the “bigness” of God by recording what exactly he made, which was everything. God not only creates, but he perfects and beautifies his creation. We see this in creation all over the world.
Whether we look up to the seemingly infinite amount of stars in the sky, reach the peaks of the Himalayan mountains, or gaze over the deep ocean blue that contain some of the most breathe- taking creatures on earth (and some still yet to be discovered). Only God could be so creative as to not only create these things, but also sustain them.
Immediately after God creates mankind, he gives a mandate to cultivate and subdue the creatures of the sea, creatures on land, as well as the vegetation on the earth. While many of us may not be able to directly relate to this type of work (unless you’re a farmer, then hello), we all have the mandate to pursue excellence in whatever vocation we do have.
The timing of when God calls mankind to do this is vital. This is done when Adam and Eve were both in perfect communion with God, enjoying and delighting in God and the perfect gifts he has allowed them to enjoy and relish in. A part of the good gifts God gives us, is work.
We Need to Rest From Working
Work is good and right according to God. The beginning of Genesis 2 depicts what God does after he had completed his work. He rested. God blessed the day he rested, called it holy, and rested from the work of creation. God does not need rest, but he does this to show and model what we should pursue for our vocation in the world we live in. We are able to fulfill this because we are made in the image of the one who calls us to this perfect plan (Gen 1:27).
But, what does this mean for you and me today?
It means that we have a God who delights in the work that we do. And It means that we have a God who empowers us to what he calls us to do. The best part about it is that we can do it all for one reason:
Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do it all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
That while our work may be important, it is not ultimate.
Whether you’re a CEO or someone that makes smoothies (like myself), God delights in your work when you do it for his glory and for the good of others. Jobs cannot be our identity, they’re merely a description of what we do. Our identity must be found and sought after in God because he is our maker and in whose image we are made. We must remember this when we struggle with job burnout | when work feels like a burden.
If you’re anything like I am, this is much easier to say out loud than it is to live out. Something that has helped me tremendously in my walk with Christ and to ground me in daily truth is to pray. Here is a morning ritual that I use that I found from Author and Podcaster, Jeff Bethke.
I’m not what I do
I’m not what I have
I’m not what people say about me
I’m the beloved of God
It’s who I am
No one can take it from me
I don’t have to worry
I don’t have to hurry
I can trust my friend Jesus
And share his love with the world
Imagine if you started to become grounded in these foundational truths.
That you acknowledged that you could become the beloved of God. Simply by doing one thing. Trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ and repenting of your sins. Not by doing good things, not by giving enough money, and not even by doing well at whatever job you have. But simply by believing in the beautiful truth of the Gospel that God came to save sinners like you and me, simply because he wanted to show his perfect love and grace to mankind. My prayer for you is that you’d see the goodness of who Christ is and what he’s done in your place so that you may have eternal life with God. God bless.