“Emotionally, we’ve sometimes worked a full day in one hour,” Zack Eswine writes in his book The Imperfect Pastor. Although he was referring specifically to the burdens pastors frequently carry, this is true for any of us. Weighty emotions and responsibilities can leave us physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. And all we want to do is sleep.
In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah found himself in a situation where he was depleted in every way. We read that Queen Jezebel threatened to put him to death (vv. 1–2) after she discovered he had the prophets of Baal killed (see 18:16–40). Elijah was so afraid he ran away and prayed he would die (19:3–4).
In his distress, he lay down. An angel touched him twice and told him to “get up and eat” (vv. 5, 7). After the second time, Elijah was strengthened by the food God provided, and he “traveled forty days and forty nights” until he came to a cave (vv. 8–9). There, the Lord appeared to him and recommissioned him (vv. 9–18)—and he was refreshed and able to continue the work God had for him to do.
Sometimes we too need to be encouraged in the Lord. This may come in the form of a talk with another believer, a worship song, or time in prayer and God’s Word.
Feeling exhausted? Give your burdens to God today and be refreshed! He will carry your load.
What area in your life is calling out for encouragement? What form may this come in and how can you seek it out?
Ahab was the seventh king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. His wife Jezebel is the notoriously wicked daughter of the king of Sidon. Under her influence and dominance (1 Kings 21:25), Ahab led the nation into unprecedented idolatrous worship of the Canaanite god Baal and goddess Asherah (16:29–33). Jezebel herself supported 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah by providing food for them (18:19). She vigorously opposed the worship of Yahweh and viciously massacred Yahweh’s prophets (vv. 4, 13). She’s so fearsome that even the great prophet Elijah ran for his life when she threatened to execute him (19:2–3).