Holding Onto God's Presence When You've Had Enough

Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:5–7) 

I used to believe that determination and hard work were my greatest strengths. Whether in family, ministry, career, or health, there was no challenge I couldn’t conquer, no problem I couldn’t solve. I come from a long line of copper miners, men and women who weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. I took great pride in my fearless work ethic, anxious to prove to the world—and to God Himself—that I wasn’t wasting my skin. 

But then a long stretch of consecutive losses sapped my strength. Betrayal, divorce, single motherhood, stepfamily, adoption, and three bouts of head and neck cancer. In the span of a decade, my sleeve-rolling self collapsed, exhausted. 

I couldn’t work, let alone work hard. Most mornings I struggled to wake up and face another day. When would the struggle end? When would God deliver relief? I had no more drive or determination. 

That’s when my silly pride turned to shame. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I snap out of it? Why was I struggling so hard to put one foot in front of the other? The lies in my head told me that if I had enough faith, I wouldn’t be in this situation. “God will never give you more than you can handle,” they whispered. And I believed them. 

Until I remembered the story of Elijah. 

Elijah was God’s prophet during a time when God wasn’t all that popular with ordinary people. Righteous and hard-working, Elijah followed God with fierce determination. He wasn’t afraid of rejection or resistance, and he dove into danger again and again for the sake of God’s name and glory. 

But then the wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel put out a bounty on Elijah’s life. Anxious to avoid death and disillusioned by God’s lack of intervention, Elijah ran as far and fast as he could. Discouraged, he collapsed under a bush and begged God for relief: 

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4) 

When I read Elijah’s words, my battered soul exhaled. Elijah was a good man who loved God. And yet life circumstances wore him down. He’d had enough, and he told God about it. But the best part of Elijah’s story? How God responded: 

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:5–7) 

For the journey is too much for you. 

I might’ve read those words a dozen times. Yes! I wanted to shout. More often than not, the journey is too much for me. But rather than rebuke me or shame me for it, God meets me in it, curled up and buried by the weariness of life. 

No matter the weariness that is taking you under, there is a God who meets you there. He is not surprised by your weakness, nor is He turned off by it. Instead, He longs to comfort you in it. Thus He touches you, feeds you, and gives you exactly what you need today to help you heal and rest for tomorrow. 

God, I have had enough. From unending struggle to shame and back to struggle again ... I’m done. I am begging You for relief. I am exhausted, and I need You. The journey is too much. So meet me right here, Lord. Take my hand, comfort me, feed me, and bring me exactly what I need today to help me heal and rest for tomorrow. Amen. 

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