September 14, 2023

Just Plain Tired

1 Kings 19:1-10

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.

—  1 Kings 19:3

What makes us run away?

By all accounts, Elijah had just finished a successful revival. The false prophets of Baal had been routed, and the people of Israel had proclaimed their allegiance to the true God. God had answered Elijah’s prayers for an end to a crippling drought (1 Kings 18). But instead of resting confidently in the Lord, who had brought about all these good things, Elijah ran away. Why?

Sometimes we are just too worn out to stay where we are. Even our moments of success can be clouded by opposition and fear, and it can seem easier to run away. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, or you feel unable to cope for another day with a difficult relationship. Or maybe you’re just plain tired and you think that being elsewhere—physically or spiritually—will fix things. But when we run from our challenges, we often miss the lessons God wants us to learn—about ourselves and his care.

Thankfully for us, God is willing to meet us when we run away. He came to Elijah with a gracious question: “What are you doing here?” And God responded to Elijah’s hurt and fear with a promise of his presence and ongoing work.

By coming to us in Christ, God has done even more. When you’re worn out and tempted to run away, let the presence of Christ lead you back home to rest in him.

“Precious Lord, take my hand . . . I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. . . . Guide my feet, hold my hand, lead me home.” In Christ, Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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