Our study of Job reminds us that when it comes to suffering and bearing burdens we are not alone. Yet our burdens can make us feel alone and isolated. I am reminded of the time when Elijah was fleeing from the wrath of Jezebel. His flight took place after the contest on Mt. Carmel against the prophets of Baal (1Kings 18). After God had answered Elijah’s prayer with a consuming fire that fell on the water soaked altar, Elijah killed the prophets of Baal thus infuriating one of her worshipers, Queen Jezebel. As he fled the Queen’s wrath a deep sense of aloneness overcame him despite the victory that God had just given him. By the time he reached a cave at Mt. Horeb, the Man of God was not only exhausted and isolated, he was terribly burdened.
Despite the fact that God had given him a great victory at Mt. Carmel, despite the fact that along the way of his flight from the Queen’s wrath, God had provided him with a cake of bread and a jar of water, despite the fact that he reached the Mt. Horeb Cave in safety, Elijah was having one great big anxiety attack. He really just wanted to die as he had said back in Beersheba. He genuinely felt that he alone had been faithful to God and did not deserve to be pursued by those who wanted to kill him. Elijah started his own “pity party” saying, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty…I am the only one left,” implying that his burden was undeserved because he was the only one who had remained faithful to God (I Kings 19:14)
God reminded his distraught, anxiety filled prophet that his thinking was faulty. God informed Elijah that there were 7000 faithful believers in Israel that had not bowed down to Baal. He was not alone in spite of his feelings. Elijah was not the only faithful burden bearer in Israel.
When our burdens are unbearable, when we feel isolated and exhausted, when we feel like giving up and dying, when we feel that we alone are being faithful to God, let us remember God’s Word to Elijah. And just as God reminded Elijah that he had work for him to do, let us listen for the next assignment that God has for us. Involving ourselves in the work that God has for us is the healthiest way to deal with our burdens.
In His Love,