Yesterday, I ran away from home. I actually do it pretty frequently these days, but yesterday was different. I was in a funk. Life felt like it was crashing down around me. Thankfully, I have a precious friend who could see – better than me! – what I needed and went to great lengths to give it to me. She took me to a park with a beautiful lake. The lake had a trail around it. On that trail, there were many paths to the water’s edge, most of them pretty secluded. Although I am certain those secluded spots have been used for racier purposes (and I LOVE the irony of that fact!), my friend took me to one of them, plopped me on a rock and ordered me to “cry it out!” Well, here’s the thing. I hate to cry. Hate.to.cry. I might have a tear course down my cheek during worship or hearing a sweet story or whenever I’m touched by something…which is often, I’m a big mush. But, I despise giving into the torrent of tears that comes with pain and heartache. I often resist until I’m simply unbearable to live with. Sometimes, though, we must. We must step away from the life that is so hard and simply cry before the Lord.
In I Kings, we read the story of the prophet Elijah. I will quickly give you the Leigh Pack version. I highly recommend you read a more reliable version for more details. But, this will do for our purposes. Ahab was not in Elijah’s fan club. He was a wicked king. And there was famine in his land. God told Elijah to go before Ahab and He would send rain. So, Elijah obeyed. He told Ahab to gather all the prophets of their false gods and meet him at Mt. Carmel. Ahab did as instructed. Elijah told the prophets to build an altar, put an ox on it and call out to their gods to send fire. And Elijah was going to do the same. The other prophets had their ox ready and started calling out for fire. After many hours and dancing, screaming, cutting themselves, and being taunted by Elijah, it was obvious that their false gods weren’t really effective in this type of contest. So, Elijah built his altar, put the ox on it, and poured water on it. And around it. Enough water so that it filled a trench around the altar. Then, He called on God. Of course, God sent fire! The water evaporated and the ox was burned up. Our God is the One true God! Then, Elijah ordered all the prophets of Baal to be killed. After that Elijah told the king that rain was coming and he should get on home. Elijah then hiked up his skirt and outran the king’s chariot! What a victory! Elijah had obeyed and God had gotten the glory! Great story….right???
But wait…there’s more! Jezebel, Ahab’s wife and queen, wasn’t too happy about Elijah killing all her prophets. So, she told him she was going to kill him. What did that strong man of God do? He ran and hid!
But, God. Hehe….my favorite two words! But, God sent an angel to tend to him. Elijah was scared. Plain and simple. He was probably weary. He didn’t want to die. And he was just DONE. So, the angel of the Lord woke him and fed him a couple of times and Elijah was able to travel on that food for forty days and nights. Then he went and hid out in a cave. It was there that the Lord came to Elijah and spoke to him and gave him his next marching orders.
I love that story! I’m so thankful to know I’m not the only child of God who serves and loves until I just get worn out! I’m thankful to know I’m not the only servant of the Lord who gets scared! I’m so thankful to know that even Elijah got DONE!
Well, DONE is where I was! But, God. =) God sent my friend to stick me in the car, tend to my physical needs (in other words, we went to eat!), then take me to a place where I would be sure to have some serious God time. And God met me mightily there. I walked away with a couple of new poems, a sense of peace I didn’t have earlier, and a renewed love and thankfulness for that friend He sent to me. Oh…and I got that oh-so-important reminder of God’s love for me and mine for Him.
So. How about you? Are you done? DONE? If so, run away! You don’t have to do it in such a grand fashion as myself. Simply go to your prayer closet and refuse to leave until God has given you the touch you need. The Church of God folks call it “praying through.” Isaiah 40:31 says it this way, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” I promise, the peace you will gain will be more than worth your time!
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!