This post is a little different from my standard posts. I’m sharing with you what I wrote this morning while reading my Bible. Last night was a particularly difficult night for me. This morning, Is brighter because His word brings life and hope. Hopefully, you can glean something from it that will encourage you today. If you’re unfamiliar with the stories I’m referencing, read I Kings chapters 18 & 19.
It is Enough!
God showed Himself mightily through Elijah. In I Kings 18, he proves himself by sending fire to consume the sacrifice and turns the hearts of the people back to the Lord. Then he hears the “sound of abundance of rain” and prays until the clouds form and outruns Ahab’s chariot. Still, he (Elijah) was under a tremendous amount of pressure and adversity. By chapter 19 of I Kings, he’s running for his life from Jezebel, and it finally overwhelms him. He prays in verse 4 that he would die, “It is enough! Now Lord take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” He is tired and feels like a failure.
How many times in my life, have I felt exactly this way? The heaviness of it all gets to me from time to time, no matter how hard I try. I don’t think Elijah was suicidal. He wasn’t trying to hurt himself and if he really wanted to die, he wouldn’t have bothered running from Jezebel. He just needed to rest and find the voice and peace of God in the middle of the pain.
God was there and shows up to sustain him, just like he always does for us. For Elijah, he sent an angel to tap him on the shoulder and feed him. The angel says to him in verse 7, “The journey is too great for you”. God know what we can handle and when it’s too much for us. He doesn’t expect us to do it on our own or in our own strength. He is there with compassion and provision when we don’t have the strength to keep going. His provision strengthens us. Elijah went, “in the strength of that food” all the way to the “mountain of God”.
“What are you doing here Elijah?”
God could have been asking him this because he should have been somewhere else and he was hiding out in a cave instead, but I think God asked him this because He wanted Elijah to see where he was. He wanted Elijah to see his purpose and who he was and who God is.
“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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 a still small voice.” I Kings 19:11-12
When Elijah heard the “still small voice”, he wraps his face in his mantle, the symbol of his prophetic authority and “went out and stood”. “What are you doing here Elijah?” It’s then, when Elijah knows why he’s there and recognizes who he is and that he’s not alone, that he goes back and follows the instructions of the Lord and continues the work of the Lord.
Sometimes this life, these trials, are too much for me. I lay down just like Elijah and pray “It is enough!” God is there for me as well. He sees and provides and leads me through. I need to lean in. I need to trust Him. When he says, “Arise and eat.”, for me that means devouring the word of God and letting His word sustain me. I need to realize that though the winds, and earthquakes, and fire, break the rocks into pieces, He is still, unmoving, constant. The seemingly smallest of things contain the most meaning. I need to lean in and steady myself in that! I need to remember who I am.
Elijah wrapped his face in his mantle, his purpose. My purpose is to glorify God in and through everything…to show Him to the world. When I remember why I’m here, I can stand up.
Like, Elijah, I also need to remember I’m not alone. God has placed people around me strategically to fight alongside me. I don’t have to find alone, and I can rest in that. Still, Elijah had to go out and appoint and anoint them. I need to stop being afraid of being vulnerable and be willing to reach out and accept help and support. That’s a tough one for me, but I’m working on it.