“I have had enough Lord” he said. “Take my life;”
1 Kings 19:4 (NIV)
One very special person that I visit from time to time has looked at life from a wheelchair for almost all of their life. It brightens my day to spend time in the home and realise this person is a faithful follower of Jesus and prays for my ministry regularly. I marvel at the grace and poise of this individual knowing the limited mobility that is their life.
How can someone faithfully stay on course through life when they are not able to drive a car, go out when they wish, need a home care giver who comes in to help them get in and out of bed each day and so on? This person has been given a special portion of grace to cope, each day.
The man in our verse, Elijah, had just come from a wonderful event where he had demonstrated the miraculous power of God to some heathen people (1 Kings 18). The victory clearly proved that Jehovah was God. Elijah should have rejoiced but instead became frightened of a Phoenician princess named Jezebel who threatened him with death.
What we see in the little drama as it unfolded is that sometimes we can have a spiritual victory over some evil and then suddenly fall and lose confidence in the Lord. Elijah represents many people who may have been fine Christians for years and years. Then when things have been really good for so long, something happens that totally ruins their happy situation. They do not rise to the occasion, but rather stumbled and wished to die as Elijah did.
There are many of us who have had the good life for a long time and then tragedy strikes and we are not prepared to accept the difficulty. We flounder as the great prophet Elijah did so many centuries ago.
The person I referred to in the wheelchair was born with the medical condition that put them in that situation. Sometimes it is easier to never have an ability than to have it taken away after years of enjoying it. Nevertheless it does not matter when the adverse situation comes to us we may call on the Lord to help us.
Elijah had the wrong solution to his problem. Simply wanting to die and end the suffering was not the plan the Lord had for him. Elijah would rise to work for the Lord another day.
Whatever your situation today, I pray that you will have grace to seek the Lord and determine what He is going to do for and with you in the days ahead. He may have some people look on your suffering and marvel at the grace of the Lord in your life that keeps you going. He may be preparing you to speak to others about how you have been sustained in a time of trouble.
My friend who looks at life from a wheelchair inspires me with how adversity can be your travelling companion through life and yet you may still be in love with the Lord and serve Him. Do not waste your suffering. Be a demonstration of God’s amazing grace and He will surely walk with you all the way home to glory.