Straight from a Depleted Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Have you ever been at your wit’s end? By that I mean have you ever come to the end of yourself and your own resources? Possibly you’ve reached your emotional limit. Or perhaps you’re scraping the bottom of your financial barrel. It might be you’re at your mental capacity as you’ve worked hard to keep track of all the unknowns amid everything else going on in your life? Add to that, like the rest of us, you never anticipated that this global pandemic would endure as long as it has not to mention take as much out of you as it has. And again, like the rest of us, you’ve likely had about enough of it all.
We all have a limit. And I reached mine. My emotional, mental, and spiritual tank was feeling significantly depleted.
After sharing my heart with a good friend, and after she’d listened to me with understanding, and let me cry out my frustrations, inadequacies, and limitations, she prayed with me and encouraged me to rest and take some time out with the Lord to refuel my tank. So that’s what I did.
I put the phone down and went for a walk. And while I walked, I simply allowed God’s Spirit to speak to mine. I let the sunshine flood my soul. I took in the beautiful scenery surrounding me; the sparkling water, the tree strewn path, and the leaves in their early stages of Fall colour. As I walked I listened to the birds and breathed deeply, allowing the fresh air to fill my lungs. Then I came home and opened God’s Word. I was encouraged and felt the calming effect of His still small voice as I read Psalm 107 where the Lord reminded that I’m not alone in how I’m feeling. I’m definitely not the first one to experience this kind of emotional, mental and spiritual depletion. The portion of the psalm that caught my heart’s attention and ministered as deep calls to deep says,
“Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the LORD, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” (Psalm 107:23-31, NIV).
I’m thankful that when I’m at my wit’s end, Jesus’s mercies are just beginning. He meets me right where I’m at to hear me out, lift me up, and set me on the right track again. I’m so thankful that when the tempests blow, His whisper calms the storm and hushes the roaring waves that threaten to pull me under. I’m thankful for a personal Saviour who guides me to my desired haven. He gives me permission to set aside the world’s troubles and worries and exchange them for His peace. He promises to not only provide for all my needs, but be all I need Him to be. One who has performed too many wonderful deeds and allowed me to witness too many of His incredible works to fail me now. One who continues to give me enough hope and strength to keep pressing on when my courage melts away—and who ultimately is my Hope and source of strength.
As the Lord spoke into my depleted and tempest-tossed soul through this powerful psalm, He reminded me of some replenishing principles. And as always, I figured if it was good enough for me, it was good enough to share with you. So here are a few restorative suggestions for when you find yourself at your wit’s end:
Call an Understanding Friend: At times it can be pride that keeps us from sharing our hearts with others. Or it can simply be that it’s easier to bear someone else’s burdens than it is to bear ours with them. Let’s face it none of us likes to burden anyone else with our load of heavies. Especially in these Covid-days where everyone has got a load of care of his/her own. However, a true, understanding friend will allow you to share your load without bearing it him/herself. Rather he/she will carry it to Jesus right alongside you. After all, that’s what friends are for.
Tell Yourself the Truth: When we’re down about life, we can easily get down on ourselves. That’s because we’re vulnerable. And when we’re vulnerable, we start to listen to lies about ourselves. It’s when I’m vulnerable and tired that I’m the worst wife, mother, and friend—says no one but myself. Until I give my head a shake, or until a friend does it for me, or the Lord’s Word speaks into my heart to remind me of the truth. Instead of being held captive to the lies, we need to take them captive to the Truth who will set us free.
Be Good to Yourself: Do something for you. Do something that rejuvenates your spirit and recharges your emotional and mental battery. It’s called making an investment in yourself. It could be as simple as taking an hour with no schedule or to-do list. Take a brain-stretch walk outside in the fresh air.
Take the Pressure Off: As I said, we all have a limit, and once we’ve hit it, it’s important we humbly acknowledge it and then do something about it. When we’re feeling “under it”, not only do we have to be good to ourselves, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. If you’re like me, the worst expectations put upon you are those you’ve put upon yourself. So, cut yourself some slack. Lower the bar. And don’t kick yourself while you’re down.
Rest: The power of physical rest cannot be underestimated. It renews body, mind, and soul. It gives us a fresh perspective and strength to take the next step and to face another day.
Find a Healthy Release: Have a good cry, go for a walk or run, have a bath, journal or talk to a friend. Do something healthy to release all the pent-up everything you’re bearing.
Claim God’s Promises: The restorative power of God’s Word speaks into our hearts and provides us with wisdom, spiritual strength, and peace. We need to tap into this powerful resource to remind ourselves that we’re not alone.
Cast your Cares upon Jesus: He understands. He reached His limit too. But He also knew when to withdraw and head for the hills. He knew when to say “when”. He knew when to say “no” or “wait” or “be still” so that His Father’s kingdom would come and His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Our Heavenly Father knows our needs. He gives us our daily bread. He breathes life into our dry bones. He offers rest to the weary. Not only does He calm and still the storm, He’s the one who speaks into it to stir it up to begin with—always with our good at heart. He is the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-gracious, ever-faithful God! Let Him fill you with His love, fuel you with His power, and calm you with His Word. We are weak. But He is strong. So the next time you’re running on empty, drink deeply from the well that never runs dry.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org