He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.” He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The LORD’s angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:5-7)
Elijah achieved a great victory on Mount Carmel when he defeated the prophets of Baal. Then along came Queen Jezebel who threatened his life, and suddenly this great man of God took to his heels and fled. He seemed to fall apart. Everything was too much. After running for many miles, he fell to the ground, exhausted and disheartened, and prayed for the Lord to take his life. Then he fell asleep.
God allowed the man to rest a while, then sent an angel to give him a warm meal. “Arise and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” the angel urged Elijah.
There were many times during my double stint of chemotherapy when I felt like Elijah. Exhausted and disheartened I would flop on my bed and think, Is it really worth the struggle? Then I would remember my family and all the incomplete projects in my life, and I knew I couldn’t give up.
At times like this, I made a point of being honest with God. He already knew how I felt, so why pretend? I always knew that He hadn’t sent the cancer in the first place, but I often expected Him to intervene a lot quicker when the ghastly side-effects kicked in.
“Lord, please push up my white cell count,” I would cry. “I’m trying to be brave, but I don’t feel as if I can carry on. Show me what you expect me to do.”
The answer came, usually not in the miraculous way I wanted but by my inability to do anything but lie down and close my eyes. God never took his eyes off me. He knew what I needed far better than any doctor. Right then, he wanted me to rest. He prompted my husband and friends to provide me with nourishing food. He knew that the journey was too much for me, and that I needed to allow my body to do what it did best: build itself up.
* Is life getting you down?
* Are you exhausted, or disheartened?
* Do you sometimes wish you had the courage to end your life?
The Lord understands. He doesn’t expect you to push yourself beyond your endurance level. Tell Him how you feel. Then allow yourself to rest. Nourish your body with healthy snacks or drinks. And allow healing to come as God strengthens you for the next step in your journey to the future.
Lord, you know where I am right now. Show me how to care for my body and mind. Help me to get past this hurdle. Lift my spirits Lord, please. Amen.