Everybody in our house is run down. A confluence of work, school, projects, travel, and various other commitments have kept the last several weeks jam-packed --- not enough hours in the day. It caught up with us this week: We’re all sniffling and worn out. Now, we’re focusing on getting rested up.

Friday night, as I debated how late I could set my alarm for Saturday morning, I thought about the physical symptoms of running on empty. That led me to wonder about the spiritual symptoms of running on empty. When we let our spiritual resources be drained, whether from continual struggle with outside forces or from conflict within ourselves or perhaps just from apathy, what happens? Our noses don’t run, but our steps falter. Our backs don’t go out, but our hearts go numb. Our heads don’t ache, but our souls do. Our spiritual immune system breaks down: We are infected by anger, envy, hate, and fear. Without the strength to fight them off, we are consumed.

How then do we recover from the illnesses brought on by spiritual exhaustion? First, we must recognize the need for help. Second, we must call on the Great Physician for His healing: We must reconnect with the Lord and let His healing power flow through us. This connection can be made immediately through prayer and through Scripture. It is also crucial to our long-term recovery to be in community, to reach out to the brothers and sisters who will sustain us through love, prayer, and fellowship. When we gather together in His Name, we are renewed. We are refilled.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:15-20