Tuesday, February 4, 2:42 p.m. – Day 4 in the States post Thailand
After doing, doing, doing… After going, going, going… He says to me, “Rest.”
I sit here (a term I use loosely as I am propped up against pillows in a position somewhere between vertical and horizontal) simply wiped out. Wiped out by the flu I got before leaving Thailand that has had a “hey day” with my exhausted body, wiped out by the overwhelming
amount of experiences and thoughts left unprocessed within, wiped out by a lack of quality quiet/alone time from which I gain my energy, wiped out by jet lag, and wiped out by the realization that in all that pouring out in Thailand for the sake of those in that region, for my team, and for keeping folks back home updated, I’ve got little left to give.
I feel a little “weak sauce” to admit that because I don’t feel like I did anything of Elijah proportions, and there was so much more I wanted to give, and yet, I had just enough for the time I was there.
“It is enough…” (1 Kings 19:4d) Three little words from a very spent Elijah shortly after his showdown with King Ahab and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18) among other miracles like raising someone from the dead by God’s power (1 Kings 17:17-24)! It was the beginning of his “it’s okay to end on this note” speech to the Lord and the outcry of his deep physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual exhaustion. But God knew He had more in store for Elijah than Elijah could even realize at this point – his time was not through yet.
God knew Elijah’s limits and dealt with him in a kind, patient, and understanding way. Clearly, Elijah could not go on from the reserves of his own energy; he would need an outpouring of God’s strength to continue onward. In his exhaustion of body, heart, mind, and soul, God met Elijah when he felt he could not go on. He brought recovery through sleep, sustenance through food (angel delivered no less!), thirst quenching drink, and a deep rest Elijah didn’t even know he needed to prepare him for the more that lay ahead.
More. Hmmm. I find it interesting that God didn’t just give Elijah food, drink, and sleep, and then send him right back in there to face off with more of God’s adversaries. No, apparently, this was just stage one of what God had intended to do for Elijah. There was still a forty day, forty night journey to the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:8) before Elijah’s rest and recovery would be complete. It was there that Elijah poured out his heart to the Lord, then heard that very famous “still small voice” that came not in the fire, nor in the gust of wind, nor in the earthquakes and the mountains shaking. God’s voice spoke to Elijah’s deepest concerns and came during the stillness present in a very weary time.
So here I sit. Tired. Congested. Throat swollen. Still working on adjusting to this Midwest time zone while a bit overwhelmed by everything that just happened in the last 2 weeks. I know there are experiences that have changed me, encounters that have moved me, and a host of other things that have further shifted my paradigm. Then there’s that whole internal work of the Spirit that God’s been at work inside of me through all these things… Though I know God has me securely in His grip, I still feel disoriented.
Yet, I haven’t been trying to make sense of everything. There’s a wisdom inside somehow that knows the answers won’t come that way. So, I’m keeping still as can be before God, telling Him the stuff that floats to the surface of my heart in between stretches of sleep and fuzziness of mind. I keep clinging to His Name, taking in what I can from His Word just to stay anchored in the midst of everything that I don’t understand. I’m not really ready for journalling and not too eager to talk yet…I’m kind of surprised I’m even writing this now! Really, I’m just sleeping and drinking liquids because that’s about what I can handle right now.
And like Elijah (Thank God for the testimony of His saints to encourage us!), I’m waiting, waiting for God’s response to my own weary “it is enough…” I’m ultimately waiting to receive the rest and renewal that only His still small voice can bring. And like He did for Elijah, I’m expecting God to provide clear direction on what more is to come (1 Kings 19:15-16). But before it’s time for that, I must let my weary body catch up and grow in strength.
It seems this whole being sick thing is a blessing in disguise— I mean, not that I want to repeat the utter misery of travelling such a distance while suffering flu symptoms (though I am ever SO grateful for the amazing love God sent through my teammates and flight attendants along the way!) or that I desire to feel so crummy now! But this flu is forcing a huge opportunity on me to stop, to rest, to BE.
So I’m choosing to just be.
As I let go to this very present weariness, trusting God be my strength instead, I’m confident I’ll find Him refilling and renewing and quickening this tired body, heart, and spirit so I will be ready for the next leg of the journey and to hear His loving, wise still small voice. I suspect that will also be about the time when God says it’s time to “Go” onward again.