Scripture: 1 Kings 18:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done (faced 450 prophets of the pagan god Baal all by himself), and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.
Observation: The prophet Elijah did something amazing in 1 Kings chapter 17. He confronted 450 priests of Baal all by himself to prove his God was the only true God. If you’re interested, go back and read that chapter. It’s pretty cool. That said, we see a very different Elijah in this chapter. He is tired, worn out, spent, done. So when the predictable blow-back came from Queen Jezebel, who didn’t appreciate Elijah killing her priests, he was too tired to do anything but give up.
Application: Not long ago I was watching a show on ESPN (the sports TV network) about the life of legendary football coach Jimmy Johnson. He was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys back in the early 1990’s when they were winning multiple Super Bowls. (By the way, if you’re not a Cowboys fan right now, there’s room for you on the Cowboys bandwagon. Just sayin’…) One of Coach Johnson’s famous sayings was, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Coach Johnson believed that, if his players had achieved superior physical conditioning, they could take over a game in the 4th quarter when the opposing team was tired and out of gas. His strategy worked because it’s true. Tired people tend to perform poorly.
I’ll admit I haven’t always done well in striking an appropriate work/rest balance, but I’m trying hard to improve. I owe it to my family, to my church, to myself to do better. In fact, one reason I started writing this blog was to set the tone for the day by beginning in God’s word. It’s a start. I’ve even asked some key people in my life to hold me accountable for taking time off. Having the support of those around us increases our chances of success manyfold.
Are you getting enough rest? If not, you’re certainly not alone – but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Pray on this.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you told us that unless we rest and abide in you, we cannot bear fruit (John chapter 15). We’re pretty useless when we’re overly tired, which many of us are – especially during the holiday season. Give us grace to live in sustainable rhythms as you intended. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.