It’s OK to admit you have limitations?
We are all just human.
You’ve heard that a 1000 times. You’ve said it yourself.
But I’ll bet you’ve gone on day after day without telling God that you’re at your wits end with the kids, or you simply can’t get everything around the house done on your own, or you’re afraid you won’t be successful at work.
When I get overwhelmed, overworked, or overextended I have two different default modes: RAMP IT UP—or SHUT IT DOWN.
Both are bad.
In Ramp It Up mode I try to power through life—which usually amplifies my exhaustion, frustration, and ineffectiveness.
It’s like a gambler doubling down to recoup his losses.
The hole just gets deeper and deeper!
When that doesn’t work I go into SYSTEM FAILURE.
I shut down.
Do you do this too?
Vegging out in front of the TV, surfing the web, hours on Pinterest & Facebook, and aimlessly strolling through Target are symptoms of SHUT DOWN mode for me.
Every move is an evasive maneuver.
What’s it look like when you shut down?
Knowing your own responses can be key to getting up and running again.
Don’t confuse rest with SHUT DOWN.
Rest is important; we’ll talk more about that in a minute.
But first let me ask you this:
How realistic are your own expectations of yourself?
We tend to live life like people dining at Hometown Buffet—piling our plates impossibly high.
I love how practical the Bible is, how applicable to our everyday lives.
It’s not holy words reserved for Sundays, or special occasions like weddings and funerals.
It’s packed full of truth for ordinary people living ordinary lives.
My Bible speaks to Moms and Dads, to employees and entrepreneurs, to women and men, and to boys and girls.
Every Bible does.
Today I happened to come across the story of Elijah on a day when he was pretty much done. (I Kings 19:4)
He’s STOPPED, SHUT DOWN.
You can’t blame the guy really.
He’d just faced a bunch of false prophets at a Sacrificial Throw Down (thank you Break Dancers and Bobby Flay for that ;))
Then he’d told wicked king Ahab that rain was coming.
This is the guy that’s been trying to find and kill him for the last few years because he blamed the Elijah for the 3+ years of drought.
Elijah had prayed that there’d be no rain as a sign of God’s judgment on the idol worship that had consumed Israel under Ahab.
Hence the hit contract the king put out on him.
God honored Elijah’s prayer for drought—and 3.5 years later He honored the prayer for rain.
So after his mountaintop experience and spiritual victory, Elijah gets word that the evil queen Jezebel has threatened his life. For some reason that totally freaked him out.
He took off running and ran from Mt. Carmel to Beer-Sheba.
That’s about 100 miles.
About now you say hold everything—wait a minute, she said the Bible was full of truth for ordinary people living ordinary lives.
Praying for drought.
Praying for rain.
Calling down fire from heaven.
“Not the stuff I usually do on Tuesdays.”
But, if you were an Old Testament prophet it would be.
Instead you’re a Mom, or a Coffee Shop Barista, or a second grade teacher.
God says the principles are the same regardless of your day job.
As His child you have His ear.
And His heart.
He cares about you and the stuff of your everyday life.
That costume you need to make for the school play, the presentation you’re slated to give at a meeting, or the child who refuses to participate in Potty Training.
God knows, He sees, He cares.
So before you run your own version of 100 miles and fall on your face in fatigue, frustration, and depression—Remember that you are not in this life ALONE.
If God doesn’t build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?
Now here’s the part of this Elijah story that we can’t forget.
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree.
And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.
And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”
And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water.
And he ate and drank and lay down again.
And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” (I kings 19:4-7)
Finally Elijah gets it.
He sees that the situation is too much for him to handle on his own and he prays.
But His prayer is a ‘sigh prayer’ born of dejection, fatigue, and fear, yet God sends an angel to meet his physical needs.
To strengthen him and give him rest.
The real lesson is to learn to pray the “It is enough, O LORD” prayer before you reach the 100 mile mark.
Running is good, but running on empty is bad—for you and those that count on you.
If you need some help ask God.
The strength, wisdom, and discernment you need are just a prayer away.
What help do you need today?
Don’t run yourself ragged, beat yourself up over your failures, or give in to desperation and despair.
Close your eyes and call His name.
Photo by Chris Sardegna Unsplash.com