A Prescription for Burnout

January 30, 2015

“This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory.  And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:11)

Jesus goes to a wedding and when they run out of wine, He creates more wine. In addition to the record of a miracle, this story is a formula for regeneration and a prescription for renewal.  There is tired and there is tired of.  Disciples of Jesus not only get tired – they get tired of.  We call this “burnout.”

I’m convinced this first miracle presents a prescription for burnout.  If you are experiencing the need of renewal consider this prescription.  Mary tells Jesus they have no wine.  Since wine is a symbol of joy in the Bible let this represent your confession that you need renewal because you are tired of, dry, and burned out.

Then block out some time to fill your human vessel with the Word of God as symbolized by the vessels being filled with water.  While you are filling up on the Word of God do whatever the Holy Spirit tells you to do.  Then realize that your renewal is not just to give you an experience, it is for the benefit of those God wants to touch and bless using you as His channel.

Let these four principles we learn from this miracle that first brought glory to Jesus and faith to His disciples bring renewal to you as you serve Jesus.  Our Lord often invited His apostles to come apart and rest awhile.  If you don’t come apart to rest at times and take this prescription of Jesus for your burnout – you will come apart.

Let Jesus turn your water into wine. 

Dick Woodward, 16 November 2011


Ability and Availability

December 2, 2014

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9)

There is a myth many of God’s people believe today.  It goes something like this,”God uses super-duper people to do super-duper things because they are super-duper people.”  The truth is the exact opposite.  Throughout Scriptures we are told that God loves to use very ordinary people to do extraordinary things because they are available.

As a pastor I have often observed that people who are long on ability are very often short on availability, while people who are short on ability are very often long on availability. The exhortation in Scripture comes down to this: whether we are long or short on ability, the important thing is to be long on availability.

In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, we find the great miracle of Jesus called ‘the Feeding of the Five Thousand.’  Jesus actually fed 5,000 men and their families, which means that He probably fed at least 20,000 people.

An important part of this miracle has to do with where Jesus got the bread and fish that He blessed and multiplied.  Simon Peter’s brother, Andrew, discovered the little boy who was willing to give up his lunch that was probably five little biscuits and two sardines.  “What are they among so many?” It’s a profound question.  The answer is, “in the hands of Jesus they are enough to feed 20,000 hungry people.”

The application is that little is much when God is in it, and little is much when placed in the hands of Jesus. In the early 1980’s God laid it on my heart to put together the Mini-Bible College.  Once in place, He spoke to me through the availability of the little boy’s lunch, so I placed the MBC in His hands…

May I challenge you with the missionary vision of Jesus Christ, and the missionary vision of a little boy who placed what little he had in the hands of Jesus?  Many of us say we would give to the cause of Christ or serve Him if we had much to give or great abilities to serve.  We must see, however, that our stewardship is not based upon what we do not have, but upon what we have.

God is looking for people who can take whatever they have and place it in the hands of Jesus.  The greatest ability is therefore availability.

Dick Woodward, MBC Report (Fall, 1993)

Editor’s Note: By the grace of God, the MBC has been translated in over 31 languages with 10 more in process. As the ministry of ICM has built thousands of churches, thousands upon thousands of people in most every corner of the globe have come into deeper faith through the MBC.  To God be the glory, great things He has done (& is doing!)