Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. I Kings 19:1-9
“I have had enough, Lord . . . Take my life.”
These are words you would not expect from a powerful and faithful servant of God! Elijah was a mighty Prayer Warrior. He boldly taunted the prophets of Baal in a public forum to their disgrace. He called down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice. He put to death four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.
He prayed and the rains came down to end the drought. Elijah was a bold man; he was full of the power of God. But when Jezebel threatened to take his life, he ran off in great despair. He feared for his life. Elijah lay under a tree depressed and asked God to take his life.
So, where was the power, boldness and anointing that enabled him to kill off the prophets of Baal? Couldn’t he trust God to protect him from Queen Jezebel? These are fair questions, but alas, Elijah was a “human being just like us” as the Scripture says in James 5:17. Elijah had fears, regardless of the anointing and the incredible accomplishments. His humanity came through and his fears took over. He did what was natural: he ran for his life. God understood his humanity and sent an angel to feed and strengthen him for the rest of the journey.
There are times in life when it seems as if we have had too much — the family situation is too overwhelming; the job situation is too heavy to carry; the financial shortfall is too frightening; the marriage is too messy; the ministry situation is too discouraging; the weight of life is simply too heavy to carry. In those moments, we tend to be afraid and we might even wish that God will take us to heaven right away. We might see death as a better option from God!
The truth is: God understands our humanity. He understands our fears. He understands when life is so overwhelming that we don’t think we can make it one more day. Not only does He understand, but He also comes along to strengthen us for the rest of the journey.
May the God who strengthened Elijah, send His angel to feed and strengthen you for the rest of your journey. Things might be overwhelming now, but the eyes of God are upon you. You will not fall apart. God will see you through! You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promise that you will never leave nor forsake me. Because your grace is sufficient for me, I will press on to the mark of my calling. Amen.