Monday, August 12, 2019

Facing Exhaustion in Ministry: When You Can’t Do More

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

You and I will face exhaustion in ministry when we can’t do more. Then what?

First, remember that God is with us.
I suffer from sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) to sleep better. Before my trip out-of-state to visit family and attend the SpeakUp Conference, I noticed a leak in the machine’s hose. I called the doctor’s office, but they had closed early for the United States Independence Day weekend. 

My trip included only short stays in any one place, too short for a new hose to be mailed to me. So, I struggled with my faulty machine the whole time and repeated Deuteronomy 31:6, “For the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I remembered that Bible verse as the hose leaked at night and made a sound sleep impossible. I remembered that Bible verse when I did my best to function despite sleep deprivation.

Second, we will suffer on earth. 
This is no time to tell God, “Look at all I’m doing for you. Can’t you stop bad things from happening to me?”

Jeremiah obeyed the Lord and warned the king of Judah and his officials that the people needed to repent. In retaliation, the officials threw Jeremiah into a cistern without water, and Jeremiah sank into the mud (Jeremiah 38:6). 

Although thirty men helped a Cushite lift Jeremiah from the cistern (verse 10), he remained in the courtyard of the guard until the capture of Jerusalem (verse 28). When the remnant of Judah went to Egypt in disobedience to the Lord, they took Jeremiah with them (Jeremiah 43:5-6). 

James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Thank God for the opportunity to become “mature and complete” believers. 

Third, ask for prayer.
At the conference, an attendee asked me to pray for her. She had flown from the West coast to the East coast of the United States. Although a cancer patient, she believed the Lord wanted her there. As we prayed and talked, she said, “I’m hungry. I couldn’t eat dinner.” I invited her to my room and shared my packaged snacks, fresh fruit, and bottled water. God used those items given to me to take care of her. 

James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (NKJV).

Fourth, God strengthens us.
My last night of that trip, I stayed with a cousin close to the airport. I must have looked as bad as I felt. She and her husband brought my suitcase and carryon items into their home and took them out for me the next morning.

“Could I please board early?” I asked the gate agent at the airport, as I dragged one foot in front of the other.

She looked at me and said, “Do you need a wheelchair?”

I shook my head and said, “I’ve been traveling for two weeks. I have arthritis from head to foot and neuropathy in my feet from the chemotherapy plus a leaky hose on my CPAP machine.”

“Wait a minute,” the gate agent said and handed me a boarding pass with a seat closer to the front. 

I thanked her and God and asked him to bless her.

When I boarded my connecting flight, I asked the flight attendant if I could move closer to the front. Not only did that happen, but two flight attendants also placed my carryon bag and my CPAP machine in the overhead bin by my new seat.

I’m back home from that trip, have a new CPAP hose now, and feel better. 

Ephesians 3:16 says, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” 

To wrap up, when you face exhaustion in ministry, remember:
  • God is with us.
  • We will suffer on earth.
  • Ask for prayer.
  • God strengthens us. 

Yvonne Ortega walks with a small footprint but leaves a giant imprint in people’s lives. This power-packed package is a professional speaker and the author of the Moving from Broken to Beautiful® Series through cancer, divorce, forgiveness, and loss. Learn more at

Yvonne speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that empower women to find peace, power, and purpose through God’s Word. 

Yvonne’s background as a licensed professional counselor brings a unique perspective into the heart of women. She’s a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She belongs to the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, the Christian Authors Network, the National Speakers Association, and Toastmasters International.

She celebrates life at the beach, where she walks, builds sand castles, blows bubbles, and dances. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen. God is with us always. Thank you for this inspiring message.