As I minister to pastors and Christian workers through the Fermatas in Brazil and Marli in Project Hannah world wide, we often encounter leaders who are disheartened, exhausted and ready to quit. Statistics show that burnout is the number one reason why so many don’t finish well. That begs the question: “Why don’t they experience the truth of Christ’s promise in Matthew 11:28-30, that His burden is light and that He gives rest to the soul?”

My personal discovery is that the values of the protestant reformation, which have shaped my family for generations, emphasize the doing. Christian ethics have motivated my thriving for the best in behavior and performance since my early youth. But it took years, a couple of crisis’s and utter brokenness before I understood that the Christian life is not based on my well intended performance, or doing, rather is the life of Christ Himself in me. As I accept His invitation, go to Christ and abide in Him, I experience Joy and Freedom. Instead of striving I can rest in Him. Then my doing becomes the outflows of the life of Christ in me. That is what He teaches in the parable of the vine and the branches. In the end only Christ Himself can live the Christian life. The fact that He wants to live it through me is such an amazing discovery. Now I learn as Paul did, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Php 4:13.)” This way the Christian life becomes rest and joy…

– Edmund Spieker
Cary, NC