1 Kings 19:3-6 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.
Have you ever reached a point in life in which you were so tired and weary that you felt like you had just had enough? Well, old Elijah thought that he had reached that point. He was done. He was ready to just give up, curl up, and die. To an onlooker like me, that sounds pretty crazy. I mean really, if we remember all of the times that God revealed His power and faithfulness to Elujah, one has to wonder, “What was he thinking?”
Let’s do a quick refresher. In 1 Kings 16 and 17, we find Ahab and Jezebel and many of the Israelites worshipping Baal. God had Elijah inform them that God would withold the rain and the dew for years. And then to protect His prophet, God send Elijah to the Wadi Cherith and had ravens deliver food to him daily to sustain him. Ravens literally brought him food, y’all!
Next, God instructed Elijah to go to Zarephath to find a widow who would care for him. The widow in question, however, had only enough oil and flour to bake her last loaf of bread for herself and her son, and then she expected to die. God provided again by insuring that there was always enough oil and flour to feed all three of them. Later on, the widow’s son died. Elijah prays over the body three times, and life was restored to the boy.
Then, the biggest show down of all show downs occurs. Elijah proposed a test between God and Baal. I’m sure you remember this one. The 450 prophets of Baal called on their god all day all the while being taunted by Elijah, but their god never showed. Our God didn’t hesitate. When humbly called upon by Elijah, fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and licked up the water in the trench. Elijah then killed the prophets with a sword.
When we reach I King 19, we see that Ahab had told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and Elijah’s life was in danger now more than ever. What did Elijah do? Elijah, the man who was fed by ravens, had an endless supply of food from a widow, saw life return to the widow’s son, and witnessed the power of God with the burnt offering, ran! He ran away! He plopped down under a broom tree, and basically said, Take me now, God. I’m done. One would think that Elijah would realize the many times that God had already protected and sustained him. This should have given Elijah security knowing that he was in God’s hands.
But God…God wasn’t finished yet. He gave Elijah new tasks to do including anointing Hazael as king over Aram, Jehu as king of Israel, and to anoint Elisha as a prophet to take his place. This gave Elijah tasks to do and a new friend to boot. God new exactly what Elijah needed even when he did not know what he wanted or needed.
All too often, life gets hard. We get distressed, burnt out, and sometimes we want to throw our hands up and give up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Jesus come now. This place has gotten out of hand.” Yet He lingers. Do you want to know why? Because He isn’t done with me yet, and He isn’t done with you. There are many who do not know our Lord and Savior, and our work here on earth isn’t finished yet. We aren’t done. We can’t give up. Take a nap if you need to. Eat a healthy meal. Then get up and get busy. God placed you exactly where you are right now for this exact season. God has big plans for you my friend! Don’t give up now! It’s time to get busy! God will provide the means for us to carry out His work. We must only provide a willing body.