Our Bible verse for today: “I have had enough! Lord, take my life, for I’m no better than my fathers. Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree.” 1 Kings 19:4-5 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Come apart and rest – or you might just come apart.”
Elijah was a mighty man of God who was often used by God in great ways. In 1 Kings 18:20-46 he confronted and defeated 450 prophets of Baal in a single spectacular contest on Mount Carmel. But then in 1 Kings 19:1 we find him running away in fear from the evil woman Jezebel, and then in verses 4-5 he just gives-up entirely and tells God that he wants to die.
What happened to Elijah? How did he go so quickly from being a bold, confident, mighty man of God confronting and defeating an army of pagan priests, to this whimpering and somewhat pathetic man who was ready to quit? Simple, he was spent. He was wiped-out. His emotional gas tank was empty. He was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. He needed time to rest and renew.
You may remember in a previous devotional in this series I made the statement that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap. Such was the case with Elijah in this scene. The old adage that you need to come apart and rest – or you might just come apart, is very true and it applies to all of us.
Many of us push too hard for too long. We make excuses for not taking a break. We talk about all the work that has to be done, all the chores that must be completed, the people who depend on us, etc, etc, on and on … But the fact is that if you don’t take a break sooner or later you will end up like Elijah, out of gas and giving-up. If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of other people.
Also, sometimes we allow other people or certain situations to suck the life out of us. Sometimes we become co-dependant on those people or situations. In other words they become so much a part of our life that even though they’re killing us we can’t seem to break ourselves loose from them, not even for a short while.
If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to continue taking care of the people and situations that need your care and attention. You have got to come apart and rest – or eventually you will simply come apart.
Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap (or a vacation).