I’m tired! Are you tired? I’m exhausted. Are you?
While we may not be running for our lives like Elijah, we can relate to his very human reactions. He was afraid, so he ran away. He became frantic and overtired, to the point where he asked the Lord to take his life. He ended up driven by his disturbed thinking to a place the Lord had not sent him.
In 1 Kings 19:9b we read the Lord’s words to Elijah: “What are you doing here?” He had run off to Mt. Sinai, chased by dread and weariness. He was off course. It wasn’t that he was not trying to follow God, it was that his human vulnerability got the best of him.
When we are stressed, frazzled, and overloaded to the point of giving up, what is it that we need to do for ourselves? Unlike Elijah, we need not become anxious and focus on our enemies’ strength and plans rather than God’s. Instead:
- Engage in Elijah’s story. Take care of yourself. Eat, rest, regain your reserves.
- Reflect on the words of Addington and Graves: “We should not think of work versus rest but work and rest. God invented both at virtually the same time; they are meant to complement, not fight against each other. . . . A godly life is a life of rest. A godly life is a life of work. Scripture places rest and work side by side and sees them both as good.” Don’t neglect taking a break to prepare you for God’s work.
Who in your department, in the next cube over, is isolated and running alone like Elijah?
Take time to encourage them and yourself; don’t waste your physical and spiritual energy keeping up a false front. Let your discomfort and worry lead you to God and others in our Compassion family for respite and renewal.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. — 1 Kings 19:5b–6, NIV
Prayer: Lord, help us recognize fatigue for what it is — going it alone, putting work above rest, flirting with giving up. Give us rest, time for reflection, time to wait on You without impatience. Lord, replenish us with a quiet and grateful heart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: David Soister works as the Staff Chaplain at the Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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