May 07, 2012

The Helping Hand

Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day.  He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die.  " I have had enough, Lord," he said.  " Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died."

Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree.  But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, " Get up and eat."

He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, " Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you." 

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God. 

I Kings 19:4-8

The story of Elijah is amazing.  He was the prophet who stood alone against the infamous queen Jezebel and all her evil priests.  He was a man of great faith, a man who performed miracles, a man who was not afraid to be an outcast or ostracized for standing up against the accepted norm.

But he was still just a man.  He grew weary.  He got lonely.  He struggled with depression.  Elijah, even with all his faith and experiences, needed help from God.

He had escaped to the desert with the intention of giving up on life.  And there, in his state of desperation he couldn't go any further and slumped down at the base of a broom tree, otherwise known as a Juniper tree.  Under its shadow he begged God to end his life.  His heart was aching, he couldn't see how his life had any more meaning or how there could be any hope for his future in the world.  

Have you ever been there?  Under your own broom tree?  I have.  Many times.  And even though I'm no Elijah I too have suffered from a broken heart and a weary spirit.  I have felt the pain of looking at my life and not knowing, not understanding how everything that's happened could possibly lead to any future of hope and happiness.

But the Bible tells us:   

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 34:17,18

God is willing to move heaven and earth to help us in our hour of need.  When we are in pain He is quick to reach out his hand and snatch us back into his embrace.

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. " Save me, Lord!" he shouted.  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. " You have so little faith.," Jesus said. " Why did you doubt me?"   
Matthew 14:30,31

God knows what we are struggling with in our hearts and minds.  He knows why we are in the situations we find ourselves in.  God never lets anything touch us without his permission.  So if you and I go through trials, through heartache, through grief it is because He will bring us through it.  And we will be victorious over the battle.  

God will give me a reason to laugh and smile again.  Jesus Christ is the Morning Star and there is hope and new life with every dawn.  God is teaching me not to stay under my broom tree, not to stay in my place of solitary pain but to call on Him.  He always hears.  He always cares.  He always answers.

Thank you Lord, for hearing me when I cry.  Thank you for not criticizing me in my pain.
Thank you for always being there to take me in your arms when I'm scared.
Thank you for loving me, for wanting me, for using me.
~ Sincerity


BelovedBomber said...

This was a great reminder about Elijah. It is easy to remember his greatness but forget that he struggled with depression. I am so grateful that God walks every step with us and doesn't leave us under that tree.


BelovedBomber: Yes. God is so good! He comes to us just as we are and doesn't criticize us for feeling sad or weary.

The mercy and love that God showed Elijah through his angel is exactly how God treats us. He cares for us abundantly! He encourages us and gives us a reason to keep going.