Books were one of my most treasured possessions as a child. I read early and passionately, and as an only child, books may or may not have been more of a companion to me than my peers. I was taught to take care of books as the treasure they were, and I’ll admit there was probably a point in my life where I thought one of the naughtiest things anyone could possibly do would be to write in a book.
But I write in my Bible all the time. One thing I’ve found particularly meaningful is to date scripture. Yep, I’ll be reading, trying to apply God’s word to my life, and sometimes I am amazed at how scripture is describing exactly how I feel at that moment in time.
Take Elijah’s words in the Old Testament. Elijah: the faithful prophet, depending on God, totally coming off being part of a massive display of God’s power when he took on the 450 prophets of Baal and was victorious. I mean, he’s the man! He surely has God’s ear! God is totally using Elijah to further His kingdom!
And Elijah is one big mess.
2 Kings Chapter 19 tells us Elijah flees. Verse 3 says he was afraid and ran for his life. He runs a day’s journey and is in the wilderness. (Hmmmm . . . a recurring theme in scripture. And in life.) He sits down under a tree and the Bible tells us he literally prays to die. His quote, “I have had enough, Lord.”
In my Bible out in the little margin I recently just reread my handwritten words, “So can relate. Tired of the constant battles. 3-15-17.” I’d be lying if I said March of 2017 was the last time I felt this way. The truth is while battles feel constant they do tend to come in waves. Sometimes the battles are just pesky and annoying. Sometimes the battles feel as if I’m hanging on for life. And they just don’t really look as if they will ever let up. I have had enough, Lord.
And isn’t God amazing? His provisions never cease to amaze me. (At least I hope they won’t!) God knew there would be many of us who would face big, horrible, continuous, constant challenges in life. This isn’t just a Chad Jagger Family thing. This is life for many of you who are reading. I met a woman the other day whose last two years have been filled with more incredible heartache than one person should have in an entire lifetime. And I’ll admit, sometimes some of us who feel we’ve had more than our share just have to come up for air and gasp, “I have had enough, Lord.”
And that’s OK. We are allowed to say that to God. If God is our Father, don’t you think He wants us to tell Him everything? Our daughter was recently home from college on spring break. When we shared those precious and ever-fleeing family meals together, her dad didn’t say to her, “Now Alissa, I want you to share only the really good things about your life. If it’s bad, I don’t want to hear it.”
No way! As Alissa’s father, my husband wants to hear everything either of his precious children are willing to share with him — good and bad. So don’t we think our Father in Heaven feels the exact same way? And more?
It’s OK to pour our anguish out to God. It’s OK to acknowledge we’ve had enough. It’s OK to be totally honest with the Lord. I believe he purposefully included this story of Elijah in the scripture because He knew many of us would feel this way at various points in our lives. He’s reminding us that we can tell Him anything. He’s reminding us that we are not horrible people for feeling we’ve reached the end of our rope. But most importantly, He’s reminding us just as He cared for and provided for Elijah, He cares for and is providing for us too.
And interestingly enough, after Elijah had his melt down and slept, and ate, and slept and ate some more, the Bible tells us he was strengthened and traveled forty days and forty nights to the mountain where God wanted him to travel for his next assignment.
From the depths of despair to the mountain. God doesn’t just want that for Elijah. Dear Reader, He wants that for you and me too . . . especially when we’ve had enough.
Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.
photo credit: google images