by Steve Greene
We’ve been reflecting on the life of an Old Testament prophet whose life experience reveals four costly mistakes any of us can make when it comes to dealing with the anxiety that we all sometimes face.
If you have not read his story, I would encourage you to do so (see 1 Kings 17-19). Elijah has an amazing story, but things started to unravel when King Ahab told Queen Jezebel about Elijah’s dramatic encounter with the prophets of Baal. This is her response: “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.’” (1 Kings 19:2)
Ahab has been trying to run down Elijah for the preceding three years. Jezebel comes on the job and says, “I will have this done and over with by tomorrow night.” Elijah had boldly confronted 450 false prophets. But when Jezebel announced her threats, Elijah encountered some serious anxiety. He was obviously afraid, and he ran for his life.
I want you to carefully consider the mistakes Elijah made when he was on the run. “When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, 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.’” 1 Kings 19:3b-4 (NIV)
Notice how irrational Elijah is here. His biggest fear is that Jezebel is going to kill him. He is running for his life, but he wants to die. I just want to say, “Elijah, if dying is your objective, just get together with Jezebel. She can help you reach your goal.”
Poor Elijah is someplace we have all been, isn’t he? He is on the struggle bus. That is when he said some of the same things any of us might have said in a similar situation. He has had enough. He didn’t feel like he could take it anymore.
Elijah is at the end of his rope. He says,”Lord, take my life. I have had enough. I am finished. I am done. I can’t take it anymore.” Maybe you can relate. If so, I hope you will join me right here next time as we dig deeper into Elijah’s story.
Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. You may email him at [email protected] His weekly blog can be found at pastorgreene.wordpress.com. Send comments to [email protected]