by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
There, in the moonlight, a large cleft in the rock-face of the mighty mountain appeared. Boulders stood like sentinels by the crevice’s edge, small shrubs cropped up along the beaten path leading to the hiding place – a cave – within Mt. Sinai, the mountain of God.
I can only imagine the fatigue of the man of God.
His name was Elijah.
Just six weeks earlier – forty days and nights – Elijah had battled 450 prophets of Baal for the glory of God. It’s a great story. You might want to visit 1 Kings 18 to experience this remarkable challenge…our awesome God won, by the way.
But this post is about the sweet tenderness of our God. Personable. Intimate. Engaging. The kind of God needed when you’re worn out, overwhelmed and weary.
Elijah was running for his life from Jezebel who was bent on killing him because he had defeated and killed her prophets of Baal. He made it as far as Beersheba and then traveled one more day into the wilderness. There Elijah sat beneath a broom tree and told God he had had enough! He was done and was ready to die! Then he collapsed into a deep sleep of despondency.
Have you ever felt that way after being engaged in a strong battle? Maybe the faith journey has become too difficult to want to go on. I understand that. So did Elijah. Sweet friend, the Lord sees and knows all about it. Our struggles do not go unnoticed by the One who loves us.
The Angel of the Lord suddenly touched Elijah and said, “Arise and eat.” There beside him was a loaf of bread and a jug of water – just what Elijah needed for sustenance. He fell back asleep. A second time the Angel of the Lord touched him and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
…the. journey. is. too. great. for. you.
I love that.
The Lord knows our weaknesses and hastens to our side, giving us the strength to carry on. And carry on, Elijah did. The bread and water sustained him for forty days and nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God, otherwise known as Mt. Sinai, the place where God revealed Himself to Moses and the children of Israel.
And, once again, imagine the fatigue of the man of God.
Elijah had just traveled 200 miles on foot. There in the moonlight he spotted a cave – a cleft in the rock alongside the mountain. Dirty and worn, I imagine he lay on his belly and crawled into the space to hide from his enemies and rest. He slept. Exhausted. Protected.
And the Word of God came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Sitting up on the cold, damp earth he pulled his cloak around him and responded, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
Then Elijah was told, “’Go, stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; And after the fire a still small voice.” ~ 1 Kings 19:11-12
Can you imagine? The Lord God of the universe, full of power and might, chose not to reveal Himself to Elijah in the magnificent ways He had shown Himself to Moses. The Lord tenderly reached out to His discouraged, despondent old prophet with gentleness – with a delicate whisper.
That’s how He reaches out to you and me too.
When the journey is too great, He sustains us.
When we crawl into the cleft of the Rock to hide from our enemies, He protects us.
When our weariness embraces despondency, He speaks to us in a delicate, gentle whisper so we know we are not alone.
And when we are not alone, the journey is no longer too great.
Selah. Pause and think about
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page. I’m featuring the Gaither Vocal Band singing, “He is Here”. This song will comfort you with the Presence of the Lord.