“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death.Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.””
(1 Kings 19:4–18 ESV)
My favorite character in the OT Scriptures has to be Elijah.
He was pious and sarcastic and called down fire.
My kind of guy.
He was also honest to God…he didn’t hold back on how he felt.
He also is the author of my current “life verse”.
“It is enough”.
The translation should be “I’ve had enough”.
In this passage, he’s done…he’s forgotten all of the exploits that God empowered him to do and he’s emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted.
The government and the church are both corrupt and he feels all alone.
A lot of people don’t like him and some would do him harm.
He tried to be “better than his fathers” and he thinks he’s failed at that too.
When you’ve tapped all your wells dry, everything tastes like ash in your mouth.
The pious among us would chastise him for his self pity…they usually don’t attempt to do anything but commentary on others anyway…
What I want to do this morning is look at how God handled this exhausted child of His…so some of us with ash in our mouths can find refreshment as well.
First, I want you to note that God was with him, even though Elijah was too taken up with his stress to notice.
He’s with you and me, as well…
Second, God let him sleep.
There’s only one cure for any type of exhaustion…go and do likewise. The problems will still be there when you wake up.
Third, God fed him.
Seems basic…food and sleep…except for those who neglect both…
Fourth, God didn’t rush him.
“And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”
Elijah needed another nap and more food…it takes time to recover.
Give yourself that time…
Fifth, God understood how difficult the situation was.
“the journey is too great for you.”
It is for us at times too…
Sixth, God let Him vent.
Elijah needed to pour his frustrations and fears out on somebody…and God is the best somebody there is.
Tell Him where it hurts and what you’re mad about…He can handle it.
Seventh, God didn’t rebuke him.
When you’re poured out and worn out, God understands, even if the people you poured out for, don’t.
Eighth, only when Elijah was rested, fed, and had expressed all his angst did God begin to change his perspective.
It’s hard to hear God when all your systems are shutting down…take the time to heal.
Ninth, God was in the whisper, not the noise.
It’s almost impossible to hear God when the noise inside and outside your head is so loud.
You’ll hear Him when you separate out from it and care for yourself.
Tenth and finally, God assured Elijah that he wasn’t alone.
Not only was God with him, but there was a remnant of family that loved God and each other…and that is true to this day.
You’re not alone and God isn’t done with you…now go get some rest and get ready for the rest of the journey.
Make your own application…
You are, and remain my favorite among those who are so transparent about their faith journey. Michael, you are special and I love to read your words. Heartfelt and well taken. (Dr. DA is 2nd).
Thank you, prodinov…that means much to me.
Absolutely one of the best TGIF. So many times have I been brought back to this passage and others that remind of the faithfulness of my Father even during times where if it was possible, I would walk away.
Thank you for this, you are such a huge blessing to me.
Thank you,my friend…and likewise…
Nicely said … and I hope, prophetic.
“You’re not alone and God isn’t done with you…now go get some rest and get ready for the rest of the journey.”
It’s easier to write than do…but I’m trying. 🙂
I hear you my brother…
Your ten points to note, Michael, amen. This is the God i worship. Grace, mercy and power. Amen!
Duane @ 7…I know you do…
Thank God for this word, brother.
Well, this sure did hit home. Thank you so much, Michael!
Thank you…I hope it encourages folks…
Thank you, Donner…
Thanks,CK…now make your own application!
So good. Amen….. Sleeping, eating cake, drinking water… and conversing with God…. actually HEARING from God…wow… Lord, I need all these things as well….
You are not alone! That stood out to me. …
Go away to a quiet place, take a rest and listen to the still small voice of God….great reminder, great post big brother!
sound words, impeccable timing.
Wow. One of the best things of yours I’ve read, which is saying something. There are a lot of people who I know who would do well to read this and, um, “make their own application.” On top of that list is… me. So I’ll read it again, and probably read it aloud to my wife, too. Thank you for sharing some of the pearls which have perhaps emerged in part out of your own discomfort.
Amen, Michael…agree that it’s one of the best commentaries you’ve written.
You have captured the essence of running the race. You’re running a good race, brother, and we are so grateful you’re running it.
Sometimes, we need a refreshment break….that can last longer than we’re comfortable with or sometimes it’s longer than others are comfortable with. We still need it.
Praying for you and all of us who are exhausted, discouraged, feeling alone and overcome..and this includes me.
Again, reminds me of the verse…
A bruised reed he will not break.