When I reflect on my time in the wilderness, I see a woman who was holding on by a thin thread. I see a woman who was hurting, physically and mentally. Her world as she knew it had suddenly come crashing down, and she felt like she was drowning. This woman was so overwhelmed that it was hard to breathe some days. Some days she thought she could not take any more. Some days she just wanted to give up. But. She. Did. Not. That woman is me and I am so thankful God did not allow me to give up. Sometimes the boldest thing we can do is take the next breath. I have learned that taking the next breath is easier when you build up your spiritual stamina.
I think about Elijah the prophet. God appointed this man to go before Kings, bringing the message of warning and repentance. By speaking the prophecies of God, he made enemies, but his enemies could not overpower him. He was a man of deep faith. His spiritual stamina had to be strong. However, this one time it seems his spiritual stamina had weakened. I have read it many times trying to figure out why. Scripture says his enemies could not touch him. So, I guess it is because he was human. We all can relate to that. Scripture says that God had just done an amazing thing, showed up and out for Elijah. And right after, the queen of Israel, Jezebel, threatened Elijah’s life. He was frightened and he fled for his life. He went out into the wilderness to pout. He claimed he was alone, and he sat under tree and said, “I have had enough Lord.” You would think he would have no fear after what he just saw God do on Mount Carmel. But before we judge Elijah, if we are honest, we all have been guilty of forgetting how God showed up in past situations. I thank God He has been helping me work on my spiritual stamina. I work on it every day. Because like Elijah I am human, and I want to make sure it is strong. Spiritual stamina strengthens you and when you are faced with difficult situations; you are calm, and you act so. You can rest, breathe, and wait on God to show up.
Your health, your finances, your children, your spouse, your job, whatever the situation, may have you feeling tired, frightened, and overwhelmed. You feel like you are alone and that no one understands. You jump over one hurdle and just when your feet are adjusting to walking again, a new hurdle appears. You cry out that I have had my share of troubles; it is someone else’s turn. You may sometimes want to say as Elijah did, I have had enough Lord. You just want to give up. Do. Not. Give. Up! Do not be like Elijah and forget how faithful God has been through past trials and troubles. Stop, rest, and breathe. God’s response to Elijah’s moping was, “get some rest, eat some food, go back the way you came, and find the others who serve me to support you.” Then the Lord sent an angel to Elijah. The Lord will place the right people in our life who will pray, support, and help us through challenging times. Do not be like the woman I was and refuse the help. It is also important to work on building spiritual stamina before the trials and troubles come. We must strive to develop spiritual stamina so when a problem occurs, you do not react out of emotion but out of wisdom. Stay connected to God. Study His Word. When we experience moments or seasons of complete and total despair, it is important that we know God, so we can hear His voice. We must be still and breathe. And that is when God refills, replaces, and empowers. He renews our faith. He replaces fear with hope. He empowers us with strength to go on, strength we did not even realize we had. Giving up will no longer be a choice!
Love and Blessings…
“Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it, and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So, he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.” (1 Kings 19:1-9, NIV)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)