24. Give yourself a period of rest, in order to prepare yourself for the road ahead

Your task/s assigned to you by the Lord will be well suited for you. The Lord knows your strengths and weaknesses and will never give you anything that is not appropriate for you. And as we have discussed, it might take time before you start your task/s and there might be difficult times before or during your task/s. But what I would like to touch upon now, is that when you start your task/s there might be times when you get tired and fed up and simply want to give up. There might come times when everything simply gets too much for you. Now there was a time in the famous prophet, Elijah's life where he felt exactly the same way.

Elijah was one of the most famous prophets of all time. He predicted the beginning and the end of a severe three year drought, he raised a child from the dead and he appeared with Moses in the Transfiguration scene in the New Testament alongside Jesus. He also represented God in a showdown with the priests of Baal and Asherah. You all know the story of how Elijah asked king Ahab to bring all the people together at Mount Carmel, along with the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. He ordered that two bulls be brought to them. He let the prophets of Baal chose one of the bulls and ordered them to sacrifice the bull to Baal, but they were not allowed to set fire to the sacrifice. They were to ask Baal to set the fire on their behalf, in order for all of Israel to see if he really exists. They danced, sang and shouted the whole day, asking Baal to light the fire, but of course Baal didn't send the fire. When it was Elijah's turn to ask the Lord to set fire to the sacrifice, he wanted to prove the awesome power of the Lord and even poured twelve large jars with water over the wood to make it even more difficult to set fire to the offering. But the instant he prayed, the Lord sent fire from heaven, burning up the bull, the wood, the stone alter and all the water. It was such an awesome sight that all the people fell down on their faces and proclaimed "The Lord is God!" Upon the command of Elijah all the prophets of Baal and Asherah were captured and killed.

What an awesome sight that must have been. Elijah must have been on an absolute spiritual high! The Lord used him to unveil His mighty power to the nation. Wow, what a tremendous privilege! But guess what happened right after this? King Ahab told his wife Jezebel what happened and she immediately set out to kill Elijah. Upon hearing the news, Elijah instantly fled into the desert and went to sit despondently under a broom tree. There he prayed to the Lord to end his life. He was tired of it all. Despite the amazing spiritual experience he had, he didn't want to live anymore. It all became too much for him to handle. And what did the Lord do? He didn't become angry or upset. He allowed Elijah to sleep and He sent an angel to bring Elijah food and water in between his sleep. In other words He attended to Elijah's physical needs and allowed him to rest. This caused Elijah to feel better once again and once he was ready, the Lord sent him back to his work. Even the mighty Elijah got tired and discouraged. How much more do we need to rest?

The same thing happened to me a while ago. Everything that I believed the Lord wanted me to do was going wrong. My first publisher was a disaster and conned me out of my money, a whole lot of my books got lost in the mail, my second editor made huge mistakes in my book, my website initially was a disaster, my books were not selling as I hoped, I wasn't getting enough sleep as my son didn't sleep very well etcetera etcetera. I can go on and on, but the point is, I felt like giving up. I was extremely tired, I couldn't go on anymore. And what did the Lord do? He sent me to the doctor and they discovered that I had an iron deficiency which could be corrected by pills. The Lord also gave me some time off to rest. I normally have an urge in me to always stay busy and productive, but the Lord 'ordered' me to rest and I suddenly had no urge in me to do anything but to sleep the chances that I got. And you know what? After one week I felt so much better and energized once again to continue with what He has called me to do.

The same might happen to you. You might become weak and weary along the way. But don't be too hard on yourself. Listen to your body and allow yourself the time to rest, to eat properly, to exercise and the time to spend with your family and friends. Otherwise the road may become too long for you and you might want to give up. Look up to the Lord, He will bring you to peaceful water streams and give you the time to recharge. Then go back and do your best for Him.

Lord, we sometimes grow weak and tired. But thank you that You do understand our fallible bodies. Thank you that You care for us and give us the time we need to rest. You are awesome! Amen


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