At the Limit

1 Kings 19:4
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Elijah had reached his limit.  He felt he could take no more, that he could go no further.  Elijah was a prophet, a man of God.  He had been faithful and committed to God.  He had spoken the words of God and done signs for the people.  But Israel is consumed by idolatry, following false gods, and Elijah feels he is the last faithful prophet in the whole land.  And now Jezebel is determined to kill him.  Perhaps at this point he is just so grieved by the spread of sin and evil that has overtaken everyone, and he just wants a way out.

But though Elijah is so overwhelmed and though he requests to die, he does place his life in God’s hands.  He submits himself to the one who is in control, the one who sent him in the first place.  He had always been willing to go as God led.  He had not forsaken God though so many had turned aside.  And he was still willing to trust God even when nothing made sense and even when he didn’t feel like he could go on.

Surely we’ve all been there at times with Elijah under that juniper tree, feeling like we’ve had enough and we can’t take anymore.  And what do we do then?  We have to submit to God no matter how we feel.  We have to place our burden in His hands.  We have to trust Him even when we are too overwhelmed to keep moving forward, when we’re ready to give up.  We have to look to Him for guidance, for comfort, for safety.  And sometimes we just have to go out by ourselves and find a place to wait on Him to show us what to do next.

Even Elijah, such a mighty prophet of God, could get to a place of total despair.  The things of this world are more than enough to drag us all the way down to the bottom at times.  When it seems like only evil prevails, when it seems like we stand alone for what is good and right, when others seek to hurt us, that can overwhelm us.  But we still have a refuge in God.  He’s not going to leave us to face anything alone.  He will help us and strengthen us and get us to a place where we can get up again and go forth as He leads.

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