Zack Eswine writes about the growth that can, but doesn’t always follow a burnout experience.
“Just because we fall, that doesn’t mean we are necessarily wise now. We have to be teachable to the thing that God’s doing.”
The lesson translates to other experiences.
Are You Teachable?
I don’t wish a breakdown or burnout on anybody. I’d rather none of us have to go through that. But it can be a turning point in our life. Sometimes we don’t see things we needed to, or there were warning signs, but we thought, “Well, that’s other people, not me.” If there’s a level of pride in our heart that won’t become teachable to the thing, then the Lord, because he loves and pursues us, will let us fall. And then he’ll pick us up again.
All isn’t lost. That’s not the last chapter or the last moment in our lives. But he’ll let us fall. Now, here’s the thing: Just because we fall, that doesn’t mean we are necessarily wise now. We have to be teachable to the thing that God’s doing. And that’s the issue all along, even before the burnout: we should be teachable to God.
After the burnout we should ask ourselves, Okay, am I going to be teachable now? The Lord loves humility, and he works it in us in this teachable posture of heart. When that reality starts to take hold of us, and he works it in us, even our darkest day, we can say with the psalmist, “is as light to him.”
Moral failure isn’t good. Burnout isn’t good. These things aren’t good. But God is good. He keeps his promise, he keeps his faithfulness, he keeps his word to us, even when we’ve let go of those things. Our great hope isn’t that we had a failure in our life. Our great hope is that God is with us no matter what.
So, by all means, avoid the failure. But if it finds you, let it teach you. Let the Lord show you himself in it, and he’ll see you through to the other side.