Friday, September 15, 2017

Enough!

‘Elijah was afraid and ran for his life… He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said.’ 
(1Kings 19:3-4, NIV)
Anyone looking in would be able to see in an instant that Elijah has pushed through some really tough situations. Conflict with King Ahab, death threats from Jezreel, and drought. He’s also of course been persistent, bold and tenacious in faith. He called the prophets of Baal to account on the mountain, in front of the crowds, and shown the power of the true God. But right here, in this moment, he has had enough.

It resonates. I imagine him at the very end of his emotional resources, he’s been through it. One thing has led relentlessly into the next; challenge after challenge; big decision after big decision; stepping up and then stepping up some more. Enemies and opposition have surrounded him at every turn. He has been faithful, and he is utterly exhausted. Curling up in a heap under a bush at the end of himself.

‘Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. 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.’ (1Kings 19:5,6)

Within God’s protecting presence he finds exactly what he needs – sleep! There is no judgement, no telling off, no ‘pull your socks up – didn’t you see how faithful I’ve been to you in all this!.’ Immediately, an angel brings nourishment. It’s so practical, so ordinarily miraculous. Fresh baked bread, and cold refreshing water. A hand on his shoulder and words that affirm life, gently and firmly. And more sleep… this is a miracle I can relate to! I can imagine Elijah’s sheer relief at the rest, the protection, the understanding and care that God shows him in this moment.
It is a gentle and firm reminder to me to look around and see God’s provision, in it’s perfect timing and place. When I am at the end of myself yet again, needing to shut the world out for just a moment, so I can rest; God’s loving faithfulness to Elijah reassures me. His provision will be there where I need it, I just have to ‘look around’. God had provided for Elijah before in surprising ways. Ravens had brought him meat by a brook. A widow had found against all the odds that she had enough faith and flour to share. And here he sends an angel to minister to him in the ways most needed to put him back on his feet again, and carrying on faithfully following. 

God’s provision does surprise us, it never seems to come in the ways I would imagine. It is the unexpected note through the door, or the flowers left on the doorstep. It is the unexpected moment of real connection and understanding with someone, a moment of kindness, a hug, or a smile. We are invited to ‘get up and eat’, to look around and in these moments recognize God’s care and protection. He cares more than we can comprehend, and his care is for our every ordinary need…even sleep!

Father,
I am at the end of myself yet again,
feed me please,
and let me rest within your protecting presence.
Open my eyes to your provision today. Amen.

2 comments:

  1. So very relevant to my journey. Thank you. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I needed this so much today. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete