Fortunately for us, Elijah reached that point as well. And since he was God's prophet for a difficult time in Israel's history, we get to watch as God brings him through his exhaustion and sense of being overwhelmed. He had been fighting the wicked King Ahab and his not-so-delightful wife Jezebel. After having what Elijah thought would be the final breakthrough at Mount Carmel, he figured he could relax. But immediately after that wonderful, exhausting victory—Jezebel said she was going to kill him. Elijah snapped—exhausted and overwhelmed by the load he was carrying—he did what any good prophet or man of God does when they are in this state—he ran . . . oh, and he quit . . . for awhile.
Ever been there before saints? Ever been so overwhelmed and tired that you just ran and quit (even for a day or two—and even though no one else actually got your resignation?) Well, maybe we can glean some important information from God’s answer for Elijah. Who knows we might find that this counsel might work for us. By the way, this pastor's pen is going to be in several installments—so if you are exhausted and overwhelmed, I’m only sharing the first point of this teaching. I figured that you’d probably be too exhausted to deal with multiple points anyway.
In 1 Kings 19 we read of God's encounter with Elijah. The first thing God did was allow Elijah to vent with him. Then Elijah went to sleep. He woke up when an angel had water, hot baked bread for him—and he let him sleep again. This happened twice—and the second time, after he had gotten some much needed rest, the angel fed him again and said that the journey was too great for him. What a great thing for the exhausted andoverwhelmed to know. God did not chastise Elijah for this—in fact, He facilitated it. Now, don’t just go to sleep without the turning to God to vent part. When people are depressed they just sleep—but don’t talk. God wants you to vent to Him. Let it all out! It is what you need! Don’t vent to anyone before you vent to God.
Believe me when I say that this is such a healing moment. Remember—you’re overwhelmed! You need to vent it to your Father (oh, by the way, He already knows—you just need to admit it). He did not rebuke Elijah—but cooked twice for him—and eventually told him that this journey was too great for him. Kind of comforting to know that God knew this, isn’t it. Soooo . . . If you are overwhelmed and exhausted—that is the first thing you need to do—then come back next week—I’ll tell you more then.