Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went. . . . alone into the desert, 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.” - 1 Kings 19:3-4
Elijah had just experienced a real “high.” He had just given the idol-worshiping Israelites an astounding reminder that the one true God still reigned. God’s power in response to Elijah’s prayer had been an astonishing experience for all those who stood on Mount Carmel that day (1 Kings 18:36-39).
But a certain king and queen held power in Israel—Ahab and Jezebel, two of the most evil rulers ever to sit on the throne. Ahab and Jezebel already hated Elijah. When Jezebel heard that Elijah had killed all the prophets of her god, Baal, she threatened to kill him (1 Kings 19:2). And Elijah ran away—he quit!
There are times when we’ve all had enough. We want to get away when life gets to be too much. God will allow the time for rest and refreshment so we can get up and get going again. That strength comes to us through the Holy Spirit.
There is wonderful gentleness in the way God dealt with his ex-hausted prophet. It’s easy to lose perspective when we are flat on our face under our particular broom tree. God did not rebuke or exhort Elijah but simply told Elijah that he knew that the journey was too much and that he understood. What spiritual provision at such a low point in Elijah’s life!
God tells us the same thing. Go ahead, take a break. But use it to let God refresh you. You can’t quit now—he has work for you to do!
For Further Study: 1 Kings 18:20-40; 19:1-6
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.