“How we react when we’ve had enough will either move us forward or send us running in fear and frustration. Giving up and hiding beneath a blanket”
Have you had enough? If so, you are in the right place today. Can I tell you the past weeks my physical pain has sent me near breaking, and frankly I have had enough?
Last week we looked at Elijah, a prophet of God, who most days, seems larger than life. However, we learned from James 5:17 that Elijah was a human being just as we are. Let us note here: Elijah was also a praying man who believed in the power of his prayers.
When we come upon Elijah today, we see him running for his life.
NOTE: We are covering a fair amount of Scripture today. I encourage you to read through 1 Kings, chapters 17, 18, and the beginning of chapter 19.
Let’s look back and see what has changed.
In 1 Kings, chapter 16, Ahab is residing king over Israel. Scripture tells us in 1 Kings 16:33; “Ahab did more to anger the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel before him.”
When we open chapter 17, Elijah goes before King Ahab and announces a famine.
“There will be no dew or rain during these years except by command!”
Chapter 17 is a beautiful picture of God’s provision in the wilderness and Elijah’s obedience.
“After a long time, the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year. ‘Go and present yourself to Ahab. I will send rain on the surface of the land.’ So Elijah went to present himself before Ahab” -1 Kings 18:1-2 (CSB)
Meanwhile, Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, has slaughtered the Lord’s prophets.
Elijah goes before Ahab, who by the way, accuses Elijah of causing all of Israel’s problems. Elijah bravely replies to Ahab with these words:
“I have not ruined Israel, but you and your father’s family have because you have abandoned the Lord’s commands and followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:19-CSB)
What happens next is better than anything you will ever watch on Netflix!
- Elijah commands Ahab to gather all the Israelites and the prophets at Mount Carmel.
- Elijah approaches the people and asks them a question I believe needs to be asked of us today:
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him. But if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21-CSB)
- Elijah and the Baal prophets each prepare a fire pit and a sacrifice.
- All day the Baal prophets cried out to their god, dancing around their sacrifice.
- When nothing happens, they began to cut themselves, blood gushing on them.
- When it is time for the evening sacrifice, quiet has fallen over the people.
- Elijah gathers the people close, and proceeds to dig a trench around his fire pit, soaking everything with pitcher after pitcher of water.
Elijah boldly steps up.
“Answer me, Lord! Answer me so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you have turned their hearts back.”
Then the Lord’s fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.” (I Kings 18:37-38 -CSB)
As if that is not enough, there is more! After three long years of drought and famine, rain falls.
Elijah seizes the prophets of Baal, took them to the Wadi Kishon and slaughtered them there.
Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, threatening his life.
Elijah reacts by running for his life.
The next time we see Elijah, he is in the wilderness, sitting beneath a broom tree and praying that he might die.
Oh, Dearest One, it gets worse.
“but he went on a day’s journey into the wilderness. He sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die. He said, ‘I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers.'” (1 Kings 18:4 -CSB)
How we react when we’ve had enough is a pivotal moment. We can move forward or give up.
There are days, in fact, most days, my pain runs deep. I am sick. I am tired. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I no longer remember what feeling good is. And, If I am honest, there are days when giving up and plopping down beneath a broom tree and wrestling with God seems the best option.
When we give up, we become easy prey for our enemy. That’s what he wants us to do. I understand. I get it. You hurt, your life shattered around your feet, and you are longing for relief. Am I right?
How we react can become our feast or our famine. How we react will either redefine the wilderness or leave us hopeless.
We can react by moving closer to God, relying on his strength, abiding in Him, trusting in Him, and resting in Him.
How we react to our pain will impact others.
What will you choose?
God, you are our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. Lead us away from our metaphorical broom trees and straight into your arms.
May we choose to be faithful in the pain.
I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Wilderness Guide,
PS: If you have been following my Instagram Stories by now you’ve heard about the H.E.A.R. Method and H.E.A.R. Journal. I would love to have you join me on this journey. The H.E.A.R. Method of studying the Bible has taken me more in-depth than ever before! If you would like to learn more email me at email@example.com
PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word is available now. Order your copy today.
“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word