Not even awkward stares from the hallway could stop me from vigorously shaking the Coke machine in the breakroom. Last quarter, last chance. This Coke is coming with me. I haven’t washed down a Coke in months because I’ve been trying to be healthier, but today it doesn’t matter. Why? Everything else has seemed to go wrong in this day, so I may as well have a cola.
That’s what discouragement does. It takes the small disappointments and just stacks them up, one on top of the other. Slowly but surely, we spiral into the land of “no coming back.” Amazingly enough, this kind of day can come right after having great experiences in our walk of faith. We may have even just come off a mountaintop experience. However, when the low points come, it seems like nothing else matters.
What I love about the word of God is that it tells us stories about real people doing real life, and making real mistakes. There is no character, other than the Lord himself, that is flawless. I’m sure some would vouch for Enoch here, but you know what I mean.
When it comes to being discouraged, I don’t think there’s a better example than Elijah. Here we have a bold prophet who called down fire from heaven in one scene and found himself in smoking sandals in the next (1 Kings 19:3). It seems no man or woman is immune to the trouble that may come when the panic comes before prayer.
Overwhelmed, tired, and just burned out can really only mean one thing; we need rest. By the way, along with a nice meal, that’s exactly what God gave the prophet in his time of need. What transpired afterward was a simple conversation (prayer) between Elijah and God (1 Kings 19:13-14). This is where, through a still small voice, God reminded him of His own sovereignty, that it extended far beyond Israel and included so many others that Elijah knew nothing about. Elijah was included, but God was doing the work.
Have you come to this place lately? You feel exhausted after trying to do so much. Have you, like Elijah, felt as if it was just you left in the fight? Has a sense of failure just been too strong? Maybe it’s time to rest for a little while, then “arise and eat” (1 Kings 19:5). Maybe we need to be reminded that this journey is too great for us without the still small voice of God in our lives.
Whatever you are doing, I pray that you won’t be found in the breakroom shaking the Coke machine when the Lord says to you, “What are you doing here, Jake?” Though your name might not be Jake, He is still the Lord our God and longs for a conversation with you.
Contrary to popular belief, the remedy for discouragement will always be time spent alone with God in prayer. Only God may grant us a peace that surpasses all understanding, which is exactly what we long for when we are disheartened. Be encouraged today as that moment awaits you now.
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