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. 1 Kings 19:1-5
“Run the race,” so says Your Word,
A common quote I’ve often heard,
But when I’m tired and hit a wall,
I find no hope at the bottom of a fall.
“Run,” You say, but most days I stumble,
Is it making me strong or keeping me humble?
“It’s not that you fall, but that you rise again,
That’s the victory; that’s where you win.”
Feels like a platitude when I can’t get off the ground,
Face down, grabbing out, and fledgling around.
Can’t push myself up or get on my feet,
You tell me to run, but I want to retreat.
I’m weary, I’m worn; I’m plum tuckered out,
Is this what my testimony is going to be about?
“She fell all the time, all straggly and scuffed,
“Found that walk of faith to be pretty damn tough.”
I look around at all the others in this race,
Wonder how they keep such an Olympic pace.
I don’t see them stumble, much less see them fall,
I don’t see them breathe hard, no struggle there at all.
I grab at the ground, try to move a few paces ahead,
Find a bush to sit under and dwell in my dread.
Cross my arms hard, I pout and I grumble,
I want to be strong; I don’t want to be humble.
I point over there where the runners pass by,
Why can’t I do that? I want to know why!
Is anyone listening? I can’t really know.
My faith that You’re listening is just touch and go.
I kick at the dust, and a thick cloud rises around,
“Where are You?” I shout. “Why won’t You be found?”
These desert days suck, I can’t even think,
Discouragement pushes me right to the brink.
“Take me home, God, I don’t want to be here,
“I can’t find my faith, I’m consumed by my fear.”
I grumble, I pout, and I lament at my lot,
“I’m tired and thirsty, this desert’s too hot.”
“Get up,” says a voice, “It’s time you should eat.
“You’re going to move on, you will not retreat.”
I consume the bread, and my strength returns,
I drink in the water; my throat no longer burns.
“How did this happen? Why are you here?”
I tell You I’m lost, that nothing seems clear.
“Go stand over there, be quiet and see,”
“See where it is that You’ll finally see Me.”
I stand and I listen but it’s not in the wind,
Not in the earthquake or the fire You send.
I stand small in the midst of what is profound,
But as I’m looking for You, I hear not a sound.
Then in the aftermath, a moment is still and quiet,
Then a gentle whisper is heard and I cannot deny it.
I take a step forward and You ask me again,
“What are you doing here?” You ask like a friend.
I’ve struggled and stumbled and fallen on my face,
But my strength is in You to continue the race.
“Stop looking at them, it’s not their victory you see,
“When you see the other runners, you’re just seeing Me.”
I’d forgotten the truth that I can’t run on my own,
But through the struggles and falls, I’ve actually grown.
My power diminishes when I focus at my feet,
But when look back at You, my strength is replete.
The fall is not failure, neither is the rising my gain,
My power grows not in the struggle or strain.
But my strength is found when I grab hold of You,
There I find life-giving power, and victory that’s true.
“Go,” You say, and now I know that I can,
So long as I go holding on to Your hand.
By Diana DePriest
© March 4, 2013
So Elijah went from there...
1 Kings 19:19
Oh how I can relate to Elijah....