During my regular Bible reading plan I came across our dear friend Elijah and how the writer of 1 Kings (possibly Jeremiah) showed both his strong faith and also his weaker side. The story of the battle between the prophets of God and the prophets of Baal is one of the epic stories of the word. You can refresh your memory of this story by reading 1 King 18.
Moving to 1 Kings 19 we find a very different side of Elijah, a man running for his life, praying that he might die. 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.” God heard his heart cry, but obviously did not answer his prayer. He had an angel feed him some fresh baked bread and a jar of water and he laid down and slept again. Once again He fed him saying “get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. There he came to a cave, where he spent the night.
He first ran to Beersheba and then about 200 more miles to Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai was the place where the Lord revealed himself to Moss and the children of Israel, so maybe Elijah was running in hope that he, too, would have an encounter with the Lord. In my reading and thinking, I wonder what happened to the prophet community after that great victory? Was there no one that could have gone with Elijah either to celebrate with or share and encourage him during Jezebel’s threat?
Elijah was alone. God’s love, care and concern for him was abundantly revealed during this dark hour, but where were his buddies? I am so appreciative that in the gospels we find Jesus sending out the disciples two by two. When we go through things we need each others. This past week I was diagnosed with pneumonia. The weariness I mentioned last week had a root! As an active person it has been quite challenging to be forced to REST. To be honest, I do not have an option. Living alone is great for resting, but when you are exhausted it forces you to depend on others.
I am so fortunate to have not only my local children helping me, but also my sisters have showed up, ran errands and simply gave their support. I also have had some sweet church sisters bring food, phone, text to show their love and care. We need each other. What a blessing to have these practical loving actions extended to me. It took me a few days to admit how sick and needy I was. During that time I spent a lot of time thanking the Lord for my healing, praying in the spirit for answers and trusting His Word. Was that a waste? Of course not. God was listening to my heart cry and sent the help I needed. Once again I want to remind us to reach out to others during their time of need. Prayer is so needed and helpful so that is our minimum response. Sometimes we can’t be the hands or feet but just sending a text, email or phone call helps! Every like, smile or praying on Facebook lifted my spirits and I want to thank each of you for your extended love and care through technology!