As I have mentioned before, one of the Biblical characters I most identify with is the prophet Elijah. He had major ups and downs, suffered from depression and frustration, was weak willed and often felt sorry for himself, and yet, he was known as one of the boldest of God’s prophets! I can so identify with Elijah’s feelings of despair and depression, definitely don’t identify with the prophetic part.
At one point he is fleeing for his life from someone who wants to murder him and to quote from my blog, The Juniper Tree, “he flees for his life into the desert where he finds a tree, sits underneath it and gives in to self- pity! “I have had enough, Lord” he laments.
He reminds me of me!
I have known God’s faithfulness in my life, I have witnessed miracles, I have felt God’s peace and His comfort in times of great sorrow and yet when I am faced with disappointments, or the death of a loved one or the shattering of a dream I thought was from God, I too, sit down and cry out to God “I have had enough, Lord”.
God sends an angel to bake a loaf of bread and fill a jar of water for Elijah and even gives him an assistant to keep him company on his journey onwards. There are no words or actions of condemnation or judgement towards Elijah from God.
Recently I have been finding myself wanting to crawl up under a Juniper tree, lament ‘I have had enough, Lord’ and cry myself to sleep and then stay in bed for a few days.
I can’t…I have a family and have to work, I also don’t have a juniper tree handy…so I have done the second next best thing to crying myself to sleep and staying in bed, and that is, to cry out to God, “Please Lord, give me a sign that you love me. Please touch me in a physical way. Please let me know that you are thinking of me. Please take pity on me as I wallow in self-pity”.
And then today I received this, a seemingly very random WhatsApp message. I wasn’t even sure it was meant for me. I thought the person was continuing on from a message they had sent to someone else:
I laughed aloud at her response to my question “Is that meant for me?”
“Shhh. I’m praying. Very slowly”
Not only had God laid it on her heart to send me such a beautiful message directly from Him…a message of encouragement, a message of hope, a message of comfort.
He also reminded me that this was a prayer and I needed to read it very slowly. I have read it repeatedly today and I no longer feel like climbing into bed and crying myself to sleep.
“Intercession is the most unselfish thing anyone can do” – Paul Billheimer
I thank God for unselfish friends.
“The Church has not yet touched the fringe of the possibilities of intercessory prayer. Her largest victories will be witnessed when individual Christians everywhere come to recognize their priesthood unto God and day by day give themselves unto prayer” – John Mott
What a powerful reminder my WhatsApp prayer is of the fact that we are a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
The story of Elijah can be found in 1 Kings 18 & 19