“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” That statement by Green Bay Packers football legend Vince Lombardi is so true. We’ve all experienced it: the end of the day comes and, with it, the end of our energy and often the end of our courage for whatever the next day may hold. Great heroes of the Bible have experienced it. Even the mighty prophet Elijah.
Our first several encounters with Elijah reveal a fiery man of God, a man unafraid to take on conflict, a man who unhesitatingly took care of the business at hand with, I would venture, a bit of swagger in his step.
When Queen Jezebel found out about all the trouble Elijah had been causing, she threatened his life. I would expect the bold Elijah of Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) to tell her, “Bring it!” — but that isn’t what he did.
Elijah turned and ran. After a day’s journey into the wilderness of Judah, Elijah sat down under a broom tree and cried out to God:
It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life. — 1 Kings 19:4
Wait a minute. What happened to the strong and confident Elijah who stood on Mount Carmel and called down fire from heaven? Keep reading…
Immediately after his desperate prayer, Elijah fell asleep under the broom tree (1 Kings 19:5); he was exhausted.
And what did God do? He didn’t lecture Elijah about his calling or tell him to toughen up. No. Instead, God tenderly cared for Elijah. God sent an angel who awakened the prophet to feed him, let him sleep some more, and then fed Elijah again. The food and the rest would enable Elijah to make the journey that lay ahead.
Perhaps a great journey awaits you, or maybe you are traveling a journey that has become too much for you to handle and you’re telling God that you’ve had enough. Take a moment to listen to your body. Do you need a good night’s sleep, a power nap, or a solid meal right now?
Your Creator God knows that your physical body has limits.
That’s why sometimes the most productive thing we can do is simply take a break. It is amazing how a bit of rest can change our perspective, allowing us to experience sweet peace rather than overwhelming anxiety… and eventually to recoup our courage!
He tenderly and wisely cares for His beloved.
Five Minutes in the Word
The apostles returned to Jesus and told Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” — Mark 6:30–31
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. — Psalm 62:1 NIV
On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation. — Genesis 2:2–3 NLT
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. — Psalm 37:7 NLT
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28–30 The Message
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Peace for Today by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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Are you exhausted today? Have you eaten a healthy meal and rested? Have you been burning the candle at both ends? Constant busyness is not God’s intention for us. He gave us the astonishing gift of the Sabbath and modeled rest for us Himself (Genesis 2:2-3) so that we would do just that — rest. Come join the conversation on our blog. We would love to hear from you about taking care of our bodies so we can be healthy and courageous! ~ Devotionals Daily