It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Maybe we’re being picked on. Or problems pile up. We get overwhelmed. We didn’t get our way when it was important to us. A pity party is about to happen. As we’ve talked these past weeks about the prophet Elijah, we’ve learned how he faced difficult opposition. The nation’s leadership, his king and queen, turned their backs on God, followed a pagan fertility cult and encouraged Israel to venture with them to the temples of Baal, the god of rain and abundant crops.
Elijah had some tough work before him. He was courageous, to be sure, but the confrontations he faced put his life in jeopardy. As we’ll hear on Sunday, Elijah reached a point of sheer exhaustion, worn down by the conflict with and threats from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. In a difficult moment, Elijah is ready to give up, thinking he is the last hope for Israel and not at all feeling up to the task. Then God’s help shows up. God finds Elijah in his lowest place, giving him strength for the journey ahead. An angel comes and wakes him from sleep and speaks to him (twice actually). Have you ever had that moment, on the edge of sleep and wakefulness, when some idea or insight comes to your consciousness and provides an answer or some hope? These are moments we cannot always explain and yet God has ways of speaking to us, giving us direction or a thought that moves us and points us towards the help we need.
Like Elijah, we all have times when we’ve had enough, when we’re burned out, fed up, ready to stop. Sunday we worship and meet the God who always meets us. When our resolve and reserves seem low, we can find that God is present and at work to renew our strength.
Dave Summers, PhD
602.840.8360, Ext 131