I am a firm believer in never giving up. I’ve written about it many times. I take my cue from Eleazar who was one of David’s “three mighty men.” He fought at David’s side in the fiercest battles the king faced. The Scripture highlighted one in particular – the battle at Pas Dammim. The men of Israel were confronted with the dreaded Philistines and they were terrified, so much so that they retreated. But not Eleazar. “He stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword” (2 Sam 23:10). That’s some perseverance!
I told my best friend yesterday that I have hit that wall of being so overwhelmed that I am exhausted. Her advice: you need some rest. And she’s right. I’ve been caught up in a long, intense season of warfare and it’s wearing me down. I told her I don’t know how to rest anymore because my hand has frozen to the sword. Maybe you can relate. Some battles seem to never end. And some of us are very tired.
Later, while listening to the radio, the DJ relayed the story of Elijah who, after an intense showdown with the prophets of Baal, went on the run from the evil queen Jezebel. He was afraid for his life and he was exhausted. He just wanted God to take him out. He finally did the only sensible thing a body can do: “he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” And God sent angels to minister to the weary prophet. “An angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat,” and he found bread and water. He ate and rested again. Then the angel returned and encouraged him to eat some more “for the journey is too much for you” (1 Ki 19:5-7).
Sometimes, fellow weary soul, it’s all too much. Sometimes you just need a snack and a nap. You need to let the Lord refresh you. You need to lay down your weapons and your body and trust God to hold the world together while you rest. You need to peel your fingers from the hilt because it’s hard to rest with a sword in your hand. That doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It means you are recharging so you can keep going. After your nap. Remember, “The battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam 17:47). Eat your snack, turn off the light, Beloved, and rest.