It was one of those afternoons when my head was absolutely pounding, my nerves were on end and yes, I'd had enough. My children were not being naughty - it was just a cumulative effect of hormones, lots to do and just general busyness and weariness.
I found myself in the Peace Retreat (yes, again - I spend a lot of time here!) and reached for my Bible. I wanted to remind myself of some of the passages I had been thinking of about having a Quiet Heart and remembering to quiet myself before Him when I was struggling to quiet my heart.
I was reminded of a passage in 1 Kings where Elijah heard a gentle whisper that passed by and the Lord was right there in that whisper. But, I went back a little to remember why exactly he was in a cave (somewhere that sounded nice to me at the moment) and what the circumstances were surrounding these verses.
What I found really surprised me and blessed me. Do you have a moment to read the words along with me?
"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 that of 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 desert. He came to a broom tree, 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 tree 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 a cake of 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. And the word of the Lord came to him: 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' He replied,'I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.' The Lord said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but he Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave."
1 Kings 19:1-13
Then, God proceeded to give him some instructions and Elijah went and carried those things out.
Did you catch that Elijah had had enough too? And, he had better reasons than me. But, I could still make application - he was overwhelmed with his situation and discouraged. And, some observations that encouraged and refreshed me:
* Elijah rested. Enough said!
* God sent an angel to care for him. He knew he was overwhelmed, in over his head and that he'd reached his limit. Even his basic needs were lacking and God provided food and drink to help restore him.
* Elijah persevered. He traveled 40 days and nights. 40. If that doesn't take perseverance I don't know what does!
* Elijah had a personal experience with God.
* Elijah received instructions and then carried them out.
When I've had enough - I want to remember to rest, allow Him to minister to me and speak to me and follow what He shows me.
Lord, let my heart listen for your gentle whisper.