Have you ever been so exhausted and weary of life that you have felt you have had enough? Maybe your work or ministry feels fruitless or sustained years of conflict have left you tired and discouraged. You may have felt defeated and just wanted to quit. A prophet in Scripture said at one point: “I have had enough”.
READ THE SCRIPTURE PASSAGE
1 KINGS 19:4-14
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
Elijah Meets God at Horeb
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking 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 sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.”
Choose a phrase or word that speaks to you and stay with it in the silence.
Read the reflection below with some reflective questions.
Use the pictures below to aid meditation
Elijah saw no point to his life and became fearful, anxious and depressed. He had just experienced a great spiritual moment in his life, a great triumph, but now he has lost all energy and perspective and life in his eyes is not worth living. What does he do? He seeks solace in God’s presence. He heads across the desert to Mount Horeb, the place where he has met and known God in the past. He goes to the place where he knows he will be given support and help.
In times of crisis – who do you turn to or where do you go?
So, what does God do to help Elijah? Surprisingly he speaks no words of correction or of instruction, God simply attends to his needs. Elijah’s primary need is physical care. He needs rest and food. God leaves Elijah to rest and ensures via an angel that Elijah has enough food and water. So often when we feel so exhausted, we simply need to rest. We need to take a break from work and activity and recharge the batteries. Never underestimate the power of fatigue to cloud your vision, clog your joy, and cripple your work and ministry. As Elijah receives this tender loving care from God, he regains strength and also perspective.
What is your health like? Receive in the quiet his love and peace.
Only after several days of rest does God ask him “Why are you here?” Elijah answered God’s probing with raw honesty and shared exactly how he felt- disillusioned, discouraged and sorry for himself. God had a heart to heart with Elijah and gently coaxed out the root of the prophet’s pain. The root of Elijah’s pain was that he felt so alone in his work. So, God provided a companion for him and an apprentice to succeed him. Elijah regained his energy, and was strengthened to finish his ministry well.
What is the root problem of your fatigue and weariness? Allow God to touch you at your point of need.
As God was there for Elijah, so he is there for us. He will give us what we need to help us. How he will do that, may surprise us. God knows us better than we know ourselves and he is more than able to sort us out. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight. “Proverbs 3:5-6
God let Elijah sleep.
Is rest what you need just now to help recharge your batteries and renew your energy?
God gave Elijah food and drink.
God knew that Elijah not only needed to sleep, but he also needed to eat. In busyness we can skip meals or eat poorly… how is your eating?
God reminded Elijah of who He was.
Even after receiving rest and physical nourishment, Elijah was still pouting, angry and resentful. God pursued after Elijah and showed him His strength, then spoke to him in a still and quiet voice.
God told Elijah that He wasn’t finished with him.
After Elijah has been restored physically and spiritually, God gave Elijah his next assignments. What is God saying to you? It may be to let go of something or to take something on.
Lord, thank you
that when I am weary and exhausted,
you invite us to come and find rest in you.
Thank you that you can restore our perspective
and enable us to see things more clearly.
Quieten us so that we can hear your still small voice.
Renew us with energy and strength
to do the work and ministry you. Amen