I’ve been spending some time in 1 Kings chapter 19. Elijah was a Jewish prophet who had just gone head-to-head with the prophets of Baal and won. Well, God won to be exact. But then Jezebel threatened his life, and he took off for the wilderness, depressed and exhausted.
He sat down under a brush tree and basically said, “I’m done, God. I might as well die now.”
Have you ever been that exhausted? That discouraged or depressed? I have.
But what is interesting is what happens next. There is no rebuke from God for Elijah’s feelings or his whiny, woe-is-me attitude. This makes me happy because I can get very whiny and woey. But God sends an angel with snacks and lets him take a nap, TWICE!
Here’s the thing. Many of my friends and readers are exhausted. It has been a rough three years. Many have been spending themselves on behalf of the poor, their students, their employees, bosses, or family members. They are done-in! We are done-in.
So, what do we do? First, apparently, we are allowed to throw a pity party. Go ahead, invite your friends, they’re all feeling the same way. Then, eat some snacks and take a few naps. This is a very important thing to do before we move on to the next step. In fact, I want you to stop reading right now if you need a snack or a nap. Go on. Get what you need, I’ll wait.
Once you’re rested and nourished – this could take months or even the whole year, because we need it – then read the rest of chapter 19.
Elijah went into a cave and found out God was not in the drama (wind, earthquake, fire). God was not in the political drama, not in the social media drama, not in the family drama…God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice.
Sometimes, we need to get away from the noise to hear that voice. Turn off the news, and the phone, and take a break from the people in your life that cause drama. Sit. Wait. Listen. Reflect. Redirect. Then move forward from that place.
Elijah was given new marching orders, which included anointing someone to take his place. Those of us who are older might need to think about this. How can we pass on what we know? How can we bless the next generation? Let’s look for ways to do that. But don’t be in a hurry, take your time. You might need a snack or a nap first. Or two.
Let me know how you are dealing with this difficult time. Let’s hold each other up until we get strong enough to stand again.