Sometimes things can get a little hairy at my house. Loud. Messy. Hectic. That’s kind of the norm for me. My 5 kiddos mixed with just living life and there are days when I really recognize how inadequate I am for the tasks on my plate. Every once in a while, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I joke with my girlfriend about running away from home.
Now I have no intentions of running away, but if we all take a hard look then we know there are times that we certainly feel like it. And even more accurate, there are times that we are physically present but we have run away emotionally. We. Are. Gone. No longer engaged. Might as well be on the moon.
There’s a story in 1 Kings 19 where the great prophet Elijah literally runs away. He takes off running and keeps moving for 40 days. I was telling this story in Children’s Church recently and a kid asked if he ran longer than Forest Gump?! Elijah ran for a while and then fell under a tree and asked God to let him die because he was so discouraged and afraid.
The interesting thing about Elijah’s run is that just the day before he had a tremendous spiritual victory on Mt. Carmel. I mean, literally, THE DAY BEFORE, he had seen God do an incredible miracle and slay a slew of false prophets and send down fire from heaven at Elijah’s request. Then nasty Queen Jezebel heard about it and told him she was going to kill him. So he got scared and ran.
Does this sound familiar to you? It does to me. Isn’t it usually right after we see God do something amazing or we are standing in the shadow of our recent spiritual victory that we find ourselves discouraged or feeling defeated. Sometimes we are at the top of a mountain and in just a moment we find ourselves lying face down in the valley wondering how we got there.
And for those that think a Christian never gets discouraged or depressed, then they somehow missed the fact that one of the greatest prophets in the history of Israel felt so alone and depressed that he begged God to let him die. What we forget sometimes in our discouragement and depression, however is that God desires to minister to us there and sometimes does that by meeting some very basic needs.
When Elijah felt like dying, God sent an angel along to give him food and water and he rested. Sometimes when we’ve been in spiritual battle as Elijah had just been, we need to come aside and take care of some very basic needs, like rest, and let the Lord minister to us.
I can’t always get away from the chaos of my household. But taking some time to spend with the Lord and let Him minister to me brings hope to me when I’m down. And sometimes getting a little extra sleep can go a long way too. If you feel like running away today, then call out to the Lord like Elijah did. Just tell him how you feel and LET Him minister to your needs.
You can read the whole story in 1 Kings 18 & 19 by clicking here.