Life has incredible highs, and it also has incredible lows. One moment we can be on top of the world, and completely high with what God is doing in our lives, and where we believe he is taking us. The very next moment we can be overwhelmed, anxious, and completely freaked out. Why does this happen? The answer is simple. We are human, and that is why we need God.
Our emotions can very from one extreme to another and if we are not careful we will begin to feel like what we feel emotionally is real. For example, I can feel like a failure because I launched a new product in my business and no one bought it. The truth is maybe I just need to work on how I am presented it to people. Another example would be that I feel like I can never lose weight when the truth is I may just be the diet that I have chosen is not working for me. Catch my drift?
There have been many times on my journey where I felt like I was on fire for God, and the work that he had given me to do. There are other days where I feel like a turtle and go back into my shell. Has this every happened to you? This is exactly where we find the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 3-8. He has literally done such a mighty work for God three verses back by showing the children of Israel that the God he serves is the only true living God versus the false God they served which was Baal. He literally called down fire from heaven and God answered his request to prove to those in the crowd who doubted that he was real. Elijah then killed all the false prophets who led the children of Israel astray. But then the Queen Jezebel gets word of what happened through her husband Ahab and sends a messenger to Elijah to let him know that she is going to have him killed. Elijah then runs for his life. Why you may ask?
The answer is simple, although he is a mighty man of God he is still human. He was exhausted, and he was tired of fleeing for his life, and although he had an incredible high just mere moments ago he now was feeling incredibly low. Let’s look at how this passage from 1 Kings 3-8 (AMP) together:
3 And Elijah was afraid and arose and ran for his life, and he came to [a]Beersheba which belongs to Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 But he himself traveled a day’s journey into the wilderness, and he came and sat down under a juniper tree and asked [God] that he might die. He said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 He lay down and slept under the juniper tree, and behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked, and by his head there was a bread cake baked on hot coal, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Get up, and eat, for the journey is too long for you [without adequate sustenance].” 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and with the strength of that food he traveled forty days and nights to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God.
What we see here is Elijah being exhausted, emotionally and physically. Also let’s not get it twisted he was no weak prophet either. He was one of the most notorious prophets in the bible, and God used him to do many amazing things. Although I am sure he loved the work that he did for God he was having a moment. Isn’t it often the same for us? We reach a space where we want to give up, throw in the towel and just walk away from everything? Elijah was feeling the same way. He was asking God to end his life prematurely because he was tired, and the load had become too much. But look how God answers him. He sends an angel down to feed Elijah, not once but twice. Elijah also rested and along with the food that the angel gave him he was restored and got up and made it to his destination which was quite a way away.
What does this mean? It means that God knew what Elijah really needed although he was feeling a certain way and requesting to die. God knew that he needed rest and food for his journey ahead. Although Elijah was overwhelmed in the moment God knew that he still had much work left to do, and that he would in fact not be killed by Queen Jezebel.
Can you relate to Elijah? I think we all can. So what is it that we do when we find ourselves wanting to throw in the towel like Elijah did? Here are 3 things to do for strength on your journey.
1. Pray- Yes, I know this may seem so simple that it is annoying but the truth is when we feel the most tired and overwhelmed keeping the communication lines open with God is extremely important. We need to tell him how we feel and seek him for a strategy to help us get back to where we need to be. When we close up our communication with God during these times we are creating a distance, and when you are already tired the last thing you want is to feel distant to God. It just adds an element of anxiety that does not need to be there. Keep those prayers coming!
2. Rest- Yup! I know we hate this word in modern day society because it means we aren’t being “productive” but the truth is how productive will you really be when you are exhausted and at your wits end? Get the rest you need. I love how Psalm 37:7 tells us to “Rest in the Lord.” Sometimes we have to turn off our minds and all the deadlines we have set and truly rest in God. Rest in his timing, rest in his outcome, and just plain ol rest! Get some dang sleep, and stop being so busy for a minute! Rest helps to restore us and if we do not listen to our bodies and what it is telling us we will be the ones who regret it. Know that God is still in control, even while you rest, and that rest is just as needed as anything else on your journey through life.
3. Eat- Just like we have to eat physically we have to eat spiritually. What does that mean? It means reading the word of God, hearing the word of God, and allowing it too feed your spirit. We cannot starve ourselves physically and expect to live and thrive, just like we cannot starve ourselves spiritually and think that it will not affect us. We must eat, our spirits need food, and nourishment that only God can give us.
Just like God provided for Elijah on his journey, he will provide for you on your journey as well! God loves you and he wants you to succeed. However, we must make sure that we look at the warning signs when we are starting to feel burned out, and be sure to stick to the 3 tips above to stay on course.