“I’ve had enough! Take my life!”
A foreign concept to some, this may be all too familiar to many of us. Anger, depression, despair, frustration, apathy, grief, stress. When the trouble of this world overwhelms us, when uncertainty and loss feel a part of us, sometimes the only thing we might know to pray is, “Let me come on home, Lord.”
Feeling that our best days are behind us, lacking strength and lagging behind, even feeling a bit guilty for the ungodly utterance, we just want to give up. One’s of God’s greatest servants can relate.
Surprisingly, it was after a great victory that Elijah prayed, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” He had just been the master of a dual of two gods–the true God and Baal. He called down fire from heaven to set fire to the altar he had built, and in one of God’s finest moments, fire came and lit a drench wood pile. The 450 prophets of Baal were silenced.
Yet, the ashes hadn’t even cooled when Elijah was so overcome with fear that he ran for his life! Huh? This guy had not only just seen a huge miracle, but had also commanded God’s people to seize all the prophets of Baal and they did. But as smoke rose from the ashes, he ran in fear and despair.
Then he prayed for God to take him home, commenting that he was no better than all his mess-up, faithless ancestors. When will I ever get it right? When will I believe You, and believe You again, and believe You again. When will fear lose to faith. Maybe never. Never. Hopelessness sets in as we see our failures and we see no way out.
Out in the desert, alone, after his prayer full of shame, Elijah hears a voice of hope. “Get up and eat,” said the angel of the Lord. And birds brought Elijah food. That’s God. That’s Him. That’s His voice. Listen and it will replace your tapes of despair and defeat, fear and failing. He might be whispering something very simple to you: just get up and eat, rest, hope, relax in my love. At our lowest point, we might expect God to respond to our lack of hope and faith with rebuke. Or we might expect some great and wonderful call to help us get out of the pit. But as we sit in the bird droppings of our situation, he provides for us, loves us, encourages us.
Listen. Get up. Just eat. And know He’s there.