July 3: Physical Rest

SabbathPhoto

Read 1 Kings 19:1-9

On the heels of a major victory for God and His truth, the prophet Elijah is struggling. He gave his all to set the stage for God to show up, and God did, but now Elijah has nothing left physically or emotionally.

You would think that Elijah would be relishing in the amazing victory over the prophets of Baal and basking in the glory of God. Instead we find that he is fearful. He is running scared and even wishes to die. We have been in the same place as Elijah. Sometimes right after the mountain high comes the deepest valley. But God meets Elijah in that place.

Let’s examine where Elijah went and what he needed. He went into the desert. He was fleeing possible death, so he ran to a barren and lonesome setting. He found a bit of comfort under a broom tree. Summer in Ohio boasts many lush trees and bushes that look far more restful than a broom tree, but Elijah took what was available. Do we wait for a perfect setting to rest (vacation, a day off, the beach), or do we find a restful spot no matter where we are? The broom tree may have even been abloom with beautiful white flowers. Elijah may have sought it for its beauty. Look outside your window and see that God has placed refreshing scenes all around you! Venture out! Put away the distractions of media and noise to get alone with God in one of those settings. God meets us in the simplest of places.

What did Elijah need during this time? Prayer. Sleep. 1 Kings 19: 5-6 tells us that he slept, awoke to the angel, ate, and slept again. Elijah also needed nourishment and hydration. These everyday, basic elements brought Elijah encouragement and sustenance. Do we sometimes look in all the wrong places for refreshment? We might need to go back to the basics—a long nap and a square meal. The word of the Lord that came to Elijah through the angel was like the words He gives us in Scripture.

God has made our bodies and knows what we need. His servants can become drained and even hopeless as Elijah did. Our God understands the limits of our physical bodies, and He will meet us where we are.

-SK

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