Written by Joy Suzanne Joyner
I Kings 19:4,10
But he himself went a days 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 my life, for I am not better than my Fathers. He said I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts, for the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torrn down your altars and killed your prophets with the sword and I alone am left and they seek my life to take it.
She flung herself upon the bed, tears streaming down her face. At this point in her life the burden she had been bearing was pressing upon her crushing her beneath its weight. “ I don’t understand! She spoke, with anger in her voice. “ I have done everything you have asked of me! I didn’t ask for much, all I asked was that you bless my family! It seems you’ve not only not blessed us but things are getting worse! I am so alone. I just want to die.” she whispered as she cried herself to sleep.
I remember that day not too long ago. I was so desperate and alone, very, very, alone. Much like Isaiah I was to the point of death. But also like Isaiah, my cries had not gone unheard.
If you have never read this story of Elijah let me give you a little back ground. Elijah had just had a huge victory against the false prophets of Baal. Many of them had been killed which angered the evil Queen Jezebel. She in turn retaliated against the prophets of God and had many killed. Elijah was her main target and she made sure he knew it! Afraid and alone Elijah fled to the wilderness to seek safety. He fell under a tree begging God to let him die. He felt very much alone. But God knew Elijah’s plight, He heard his cries and sent him an angel who fed him and let him rest. God was not done with Elijah, He had plans of restoration, renewal and new beginnings for Elijah and Israel’s future!
Perhaps you can relate to Elijah’s or my story. I would like to offer you a few words of encouragement today to help get you through this wilderness season of your life.
1 You are not alone! There are many who have been where you are. While everyone’s story is unique, many have faced loneliness, depression and exhaustion and have come through it. You will too!
2.Don’t lose hope! Sorrow only lasts for a season. Joy comes in the morning. This won’t last forever.
3. Stay in the Word! Even if your desire is diminished or you just can’t seem to get anything from it. It’s like a daily does of vitamins. It is good for the soul even when you can’t feel it.
4. Worship! Keep a journal of what God is doing right now in your life. Celebrate the small victories. Keep that praise and worship music flowing.
5. Stay connected to Godly Women. If there are none or it seems every time you try it just doesn’t work out keep praying and searching. God will send you someone.
6. Ask for help! Tell someone you trust where you are at, what you are dealing with. Don’t bear your burden alone.
7. Rest! Are you overworked or trying to bear a burden you were not meant to bear? Ask God to reveal to you what you may need to give up during this wilderness season of your life.
8. Last, but definitely not least! Pray!!! Pray, pray, pray, pray. Pray like your life depends on it. Get brutally honest with God. Let Him know where you are. He knows your heart, He knows your pain, He’s not afraid of your thoughts or emotions. Boldly approach the throne of Grace.
At the end of Elijah’s story we find that God encourages Elijah. He told Elijah about the 7,000 men who had not bowed the knee to baal. He let Elijah annoint the future kings of Israel and Judah who would put an end to the current oppression. He also gave Elijah a companion whom he would train to pass on the mantel of prophet. I am writing this to you today as one who has survived the wilderness, the fatigue, the Jezebel and the hopelessness too. My God heard my cries and He will hear yours as well. Don’t give up hope, draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you!