Author Jack Canfield tells a great story about what he experienced while driving home from work one day. He stopped to watch a local Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near his home. As Jack sat down behind the bench on the first baseline, he asked one of the boys what the score was.
“We’re behind fourteen to nothing,” the lad answered with a smile. “Really,” Jack responded, “I have to say you don’t look very discouraged.” “Discouraged?” the boy asked, puzzled. “Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t been up to bat yet?”
What a wonderful message for those of us who have done battle with the scourge of emotional exhaustion. Sometimes we worry too much about what the opposing pitcher is going to throw at us when we haven’t even had our turn at bat. Perhaps we’ve struck out so often that our courage and confidence is gone forever. Don’t let past failures rob you of faith in future possibilities.
When I was so emotionally exhausted that I didn’t know up from down, reality from fantasy, truth from fiction, it was only as I asked God to increase my faith, help my unbelief, and show me that he really had a plan designed for me that my life began to turn around. When God increases your faith, you will find many positive changes:
- Faith looks for the good in yourself and others instead of harping on the worst.
- Faith opens doors where despair slams them shut.
- Faith discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot.
- Faith draws its power from a deep trust in our heavenly Father and from an awareness that while we as human beings are not all good, neither are we all bad.
- Faith creates flashes of light instead of cursing the darkness.
- Faith regards problems, small and large, as opportunities.
- Faith cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to the temptation of cynicism.
- Faith pushes ahead when it would be easy to quit.
- Faith puts up with modest gains, realizing that the longest journey begins with a single, often faltering step.
- Faith is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of victory.
It is my prayer that you will ask God to increase your faith and help you see his bigger, better plan for you — a plan that has no room for burnout or emotional exhaustion, but instead one that promises a life of balance, courage, and love for yourself, for others, and for your heavenly Father.
As your faith increases, you can claim as your motto this verse of ultimate encouragement: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 RSV).
Once you knew very little of God’s mercy and kindness. Now we are allowing his love and mercy to sweep over us and to make us strong again.
Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 36 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.