1 Kings 19:4 (NKJV)
And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'”
Have you had enough?
I know that sometimes you feel as though you’ve had enough. I feel it too. Times when the burden feels too heavy, the struggles too much, and you just want it to end. Why, oh why, does life have to be so hard, so harrowing, so demanding, so demeaning?
Take this Coronavirus crisis, the pandemic that has taken over the world and turned it upside down. It was hard enough before, but now, life has just gotten that much harder for so many people. The economy is in a mess, people are dying around us, and it’s not over yet. As I write, there is a resurgence of the virus in many parts of the world; it is increasing in other parts where it is just reaching; and even in the UK there are new outbreaks in different parts of the country, threatening to put us back into lockdown. Clearly, it’s not over yet.
As Christians, we feel the same way. Although we have the comfort in our belief that God is in control, and that He has good plans for our future, and even if we face the ultimate challenge – death itself – we know that we will wake up in heaven with Him; despite this, we still struggle at times. It isn’t easy, even for us; worse, we can feel guilty for feeling that way. Surely, if our faith was stronger, we would be more confident, more resilient, happier, less worried and less fearful? Surely, if we were “better Christians,” we wouldn’t feel as though we’d had enough?
But we, too, are human – and full of frailties and failings. Too often, we beat ourselves up about how we feel, and that makes how we feel even worse!
STOP! Stop, right now! Stop beating yourself up, stop worrying about your “failings” as a Christian, and thinking that your faith is not good enough or that you are not a good enough Christian. Just stop. Stop, take a moment, and be kind to yourself.
Remember Elijah? You will probably know him as one of God’s greatest prophets in the Old Testament – a man chosen by God, a mighty man of God – resilient, strong in his faith, a prayer warrior and a miracle maker who brought the dead back to life. Even his name means, “my God is Yahweh.” But even he’d had enough:
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'”
1 Kings 19:4 (NKJV)
He was in fear of his life. His fellow prophets had all been killed, and he was on the hit list. He wasn’t safe – and he fled. Despite his amazing, strong faith; despite his gifting as a prophet; despite his close walk with God, his prayer life and his miracle-making ministry; he fled in fear for his life. He sat down, and deep in despondency and despair, asked God to take his life.
But it’s not over yet! God answered his plea – but not in the way he was pleading. What’s your plea today? If you’ve had enough, and you just want it all to be over, what’s your prayer?
You might be facing a storm right now – the winds may be whirling around you, you might feel as though the earth was shaking under your feet, and you might feel as though you were feeling the heat of the situation, whatever that might be. It might be your health; it might be your wealth, or the lack of it; it might be any number of things related or unrelated to the current coronavirus crisis, or just made worse because of it. But God isn’t in any of those things.
… but the Lord was not in the wind … but the Lord was not in the earthquake … but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it … Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’“
1 Kings 19:11-13 (NKJV)
In the stillness, in the quiet, in the calm and in the peace; there was God’s voice. God is not causing the storms in your life – He is the still small voice. And He wants to comfort you, as He did Elijah; He wants to guide you, as He did Elijah; and He wants to provide for you, as He did for Elijah. God is the same today as He was yesterday, and as He will be tomorrow. He never changes. He is the only constant; the only consummate (absolute and perfect); the only resolute (firm and unchanging); the only rock you can rely on and find rest upon.
May I urge you today – seek the solitude, the quiet, the calm – and listen. Listen out for the voice of God. It may not be an audible voice, but through His Holy Spirit He will speak to you, He will comfort you, He will guide you, and He will provide for you. He won’t be in the storm, He won’t be in the wind and the shaking and the quaking or in the fire or the furnace you feel that you are in right now. But He IS there – you just need to quiet your mind and your soul – and listen out. It’s not over yet – He has a plan and a future for you, and it’s good. It’s all good with God in your life. You will still have the storms, but you will have peace in the storm.
May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that You are our rock. Let us hear Your voice, Lord. As we seek You, Lord, may we hear Your still small voice? May we know Your comfort, may we know Your guiding Hand, may we know Your provision at this time of need? We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
If you’re going through a storm in your life right now, if you feel as though you’ve had enough; if you would like us to pray for you – please get in touch. Don’t feel as though you have to battle the storm alone – even Elijah needed others around him, and he felt at his most vulnerable when he had lost his fellow prophets. But he found a friend, Elisha – and not only a friend – he found a companion who, eventually, became his successor. Who knows what God has planned for your life? So, if you’re in a storm right now – keep going, don’t give up – and you will see the rainbow at the end of the storm.
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