It is Enough!

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.

When the Bottom Drops Out

fallen

Ever feel like Elijah? Elijah was one of the prophets. He accomplished so much for the Kingdom of God. In 1 Kings chapter 18, we see him have an amazing victory against the prophets of Baal in which he called down fire from heaven. He was a warrior, a conqueror, a man who clearly heard God’s voice. He was a man.

Fast forward to chapter 19 of 1 Kings, and we find this man running for his life and eventually hiding in a cave depressed and discouraged. I’ve often wondered how he went from one extreme to the other. It would seem that the man of God who just called fire from heaven would have enough trust and faith to believe that God would help him out when the Queen threatened his life. It’s so easy for us to read the story and judge isn’t it?

I think if we are completely honest with ourselves, we do the same thing. We probably haven’t called down fire from heaven lately but we have our victories. Things are going well and we believe! Then the bottom drops out and we wonder where God went. Still in those moments of weakness when we’re tired and struggling to hold on, God has not abandoned us. He still faithfully feeds and cares for us. Remember that it was there, in the dark moments for Elijah that God chose to reveal Himself to him.

“So he [Elijah] said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.’ Then He [The Lord] 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.” 1 Kings 19:10-13

God can break the mountains in our lives in an instant. He can shake the earth, trample the enemy of our souls beneath us. He can do anything. But remembers, He has a reason for everything. Sometimes, he’s not in the earthquake or the fire. Sometimes, he’s the still small voice reminding us that He’s in control and we just need to trust Him. The best part is, His still small voice is still bigger and louder than any other if we choose to listen.