The term tapped out refers to reaching a point of emptiness, unable to go any farther. A mother breast feeding her child may hit a wall, unable to produce any more milk. Despite an infant’s cries, mom is done. A keg on a college campus is bound to dry up, tapped out from over use. However, one of the most common examples today relates to a parent or student, burning the candle at both ends until they crash and burn from sheer exhaustion.
1. Acknowledge your condition – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray, James 5:13a.
In the prime of my life, I worked 90 hours a week as a youth pastor. On my only day off, I led a Bible Study at McDonald’s in the morning, drove to Cincinnati to meet a friend (a 90 minute drive one way) and came back by dinner time to attend an adult Bible Study which required extensive reading. Sure, this sounds like a lot, but I was young. After my wealthy church rejected a plea for a homeless guy, I let him stay on my couch at my apartment for six months. To justify my raise after one year, my responsibilities tripled to include Confirmation, Coaching High School Basketball and Helping out with Young Life.
2. Find someone to confide in – If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up, Ecclesiastes 4:10.
Sometime after the first six months, I became comfortably numb, running on fumes. Since I didn’t have anyone to intervene, I reached an emotional breaking point, unable to give anymore. Thus, 14 months after starting my dream job, what I was born to do, I was forced to take a step back. So… what do you do when you’re all tapped out? Well, I went hiking on the Appalachian Trail with a mentor from high school, a former coach and Fellowship of Christian’s Athletes director. Looking back now, most of this weekend was a blur, yet I needed to retreat before I could go any further.
3. Find a quiet place to meet with God – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed, Mark 1:35.
Before he became king of Israel, David had his own issues. The king, who just happened to be his best friend’s dad was trying to kill him, jealous of his fame from defeating Goliath. A man without a country, David fled for a cave, encouraged by 400 men, soldiers who had became friends. Despite being anointed as king by Samuel, David had to wait and wait and wait some more. Just as the mountains served as a retreat for me, this cave was like an oasis, able to shoot the breeze, wondering where to go and what to do next. Fellowship in these close quarters likely developed friendships for a lifetime.
4. Publicly confess your sins – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed, James 5:16a.
To provide a woman’s perspective, I can’t help but mention the woman described in Matthew 9. If you think you’ve had a tough life, just listen to her sob story. Suffering from a bleeding disorder, she saw every specialist possible until she ran out of money. Broke and still unhealed, she was probably forced to beg like the homeless. Yet, fearful of contracting what she had, this woman was forced beyond the cities gates to live among the outcasts in society. Financially tapped, healing appeared unattainable until a man named Jesus worked the earth.
5. Find rest for your soul – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, ” Matthew 11:28.
by Jay Mankus