by Judy Schneider
I love summer! The days are warmer and the sun shines nearly every day, my garden is full of flowers and the grass is green. Color is everywhere outside my window and we have animals that use our backyard as their playground. Everything is so much alive and bursting with energy!
Summer is a time to slow down for me. There are fewer responsibilities at the church and many activities are done for the summer. I feel that I have a chance to catch my breath from the chaos of the rest of the year. I make a point to recharge and refresh and I look at it as God’s provision for renewing my strength.
There is a story in the Old Testament that shows just how God provided for a man who had exhausted himself in his ministry and was tempted to give up until God stepped in and gave him just what he needed.
The man is Elijah and the story is found in 1Kings 18:19-19:18. Elijah was a man who was, at times, bold and decisive and at other times fearful and tentative. In the passage, Elijah stepped boldly out in faith against God’s enemies and God sent down fire from heaven. The prophets of Baal were killed. Elijah preached the word boldly and his faith was large in that moment and God came through in a powerful way.
After that, Elijah interceded for rain; he persisted and the Lord answered. He was really on a roll. Then Jezebel, King Ahab’s controlling wife, got angry because the prophets were killed and she threatened to kill Elijah. Suddenly, Elijah was weary in well-doing, he became afraid and ran for his life.
He ran in the heat until he couldn’t run anymore. The stress of his ministry, the anxiety and fear that took hold of him pushed him to the point of depression. He prayed to die. He sat down under a tree for some shade and fell asleep.
Here is the neat part. What did God do? Did He suddenly infuse all his cells with supernatural energy? Did he miraculously heal his depression? Did He scold him for how he was feeling? No! He knew just what he needed. He attended to his physical needs first. Elijah slept woke up only to drink and eat and it was a carb!!! It was bread (albeit much better quality than we have now!) God knew that the brain consumes more glucose than any other organ. Every cell in the body needs it for energy and Elijah was depleted. God knew he was dehydrated from the physical exertion and heat. Elijah’s physical requirements needed to be met first before his spiritual needs. The food, water and rest gave him the strength to get up again and move forward. From chapter 19:10-18, we see then that the Lord met his spiritual needs.
Let me encourage you to take this brief time in the calendar year to step back, as much as you can, and receive the strength and encouragement you need to continue to serve Him in whatever way He has called you. May you be renewed, restored and refreshed in every way, body, soul and spirit. Wait on Him to not only supply your spiritual needs but the physical needs too. He loves to give good gifts to His children.
Judy Schneider is an RN, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a pastors wife.
Her website is wisdom4health.ca
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