Friday, August 27, 2010

First of Two: Lessons from Elijah

Ok, so maybe this time he was sleeping
This is the first of two posts from the story of Elijah.  First things first though; you have to read the account in 1 Kings 19.

I have a newborn baby - Brennan, our first.  He's almost 5 months old and as any new parent can tell you, having your first child will change your life forever.  Parenting is a young mans game...I never thought I'd be 39 going on 40 when I had my first child.  The first thing you notice, aside from how darn cute he is, is how little sleep you're going to get for the forseeable future.  "Sleep like a baby?"  Not sure who coined that phrase but "sleeping like a baby" definitely does not = lots of sleep.

Now let's pick up that story of Elijah.  In chapter 18, Elijah has just defeated the 450 prophets of Baal, single-handedly (with God's help, of course).  He's just won a huge victory and where do we see him next?  Celebrating?  Gloating?  Enjoying his new-found power and popularity?  No - he's running for his life from Jezebel, a woman who isn't too happy about all her prophets being killed.  It's at this point that he sits down and asks God to let him die.

And then the most amazing thing happens; God does not give the lecture, does not scold Elijah for his lack of faith, does not berate him for forgetting the victory He just won - I mean surely if God can deliver 450 men into Elijah's hands, He can deliver 1 woman too, can't He?  Isn't God big enough?

5 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
      All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat."

God gives Elijah what he needs most at that time.  Rest, and Food.  And then He does it again...more rest, and more food.

Now back to me and my baby boy - here is a lesson I'm learning.  Sometimes you just need to sleep.  When we're worn out, tired, sleep-deprived, exhausted, we're not much use and truth be told, we're really not ourselves.  I have noticed in me, especially since Brennan was born, that when I'm that tired the best thing I can do for my wife, my family, my church and myself, is to sleep...get rested.  And you know what?  God knows this...(it's called the Sabbath).  Why?  I believe part of the answer is because God knows how we're wired;

- Rest brings fresh perspective
- Rest brings answers to problems
- Rest brings patience we didn't have the night before
- Rest brings a new day, with a new start

The problems that seemed so huge the night before, diminish with

What's the point?  I guess it's three-fold (good messages always come in threes),
1) Nobody is immune from exhaustion (Elijah had just won a huge victory, but it left him drained)
2) God commands and allows rest for us in our lives - take advantage of it!
2) Not every battle is really worth fighting...sometimes, the best thing you can do is sleep.

1 comment:

Carol-Sutarooni said...

Hi there,

Found your blog by going to "next blog" from my own, Celebrate Me Home; don't hate me, I just had a nap! LOL.

Lou Holtz, the famous football coach said that when he saw one year's schedule he slept like a baby. That is, he woke up every two hours and cried.

As the mother of 33 year and 29 year old daughters, I can assure you that you will sleep again. These first few months are very precious, try to enjoy all of it, even being tired. It will pass all too soon.

Best wishes,