"Come Aside, Little One, Rest Awhile"
Day after day I found myself rushing trying to meet deadlines with a much too crowded schedule. One morning I was especially discouraged and distressed. As I was preparing to have my daily devotional with the Lord, suddenly I felt impressed to turn off all the, 'devices' that can distract - TV, cell phone, Kindle Fire, etc. With everything turned off, I dropped to my knees to be alone with Jesus, my Good Shepherd. Immediately, I heard the still small voice of my Good Shepherd inviting me to, "Come aside, Little One, rest awhile." Genuine relief coursed through my innermost being and a peace and quietness that I had not experienced in what seemed like such a long time.
Discouragement is a scourge that has crippled and even broken many people doing good things for the Lord. My mind immediately went to Elijah and the account in I Kings 18 when God answered Elijah's prayer and sent the fire from heaven and consumed the sacrifice proving that He was the one true God and not Baal. It was a high point in the prophet Elijah's ministry followed by the devastating drought being broken when he prayed. No doubt his faith and confidence in God was at fever pitch.
However, the next thing Elijah learns is that Jezebel, King Ahab's wicked wife, has issued an 'All Points Bulletin' for his arrest and death for killing the 400 prophets of Baal. Suddenly, this powerhouse for God was stricken with severe discouragement, acute fear and depression. He ran for his life, finally stopping in the wilderness where he dropped down under a Juniper tree from sheer exhaustion and begged to die rather than have Jezebel fulfill her promise to kill him. While sleeping under the Juniper tree he felt a nudge from an angel. Yes, God sent an angel to cater him a meal. Oh, the gentleness of the Heavenly Father. He knew his prophet was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and in dire need of His special touch. Elijah ate, drank and fell asleep. Yes, depression, discouragement and fear is exhausting. Again God dispatched the angelic catering service with another nourishing meal that gave him strength for forty days and forty nights as he traveled to Horeb the mountain of God.
Elijah came to a cave and driven by fear for his life he moved into this lonely dwelling place. The Heavenly Father never took his eyes off of Elijah, but was there to make Himself real to him. He had a question for him, "Elijah, what are you doing here?" Elijah tried to explain all that had happened and how his very life was in danger. God listened. Then, there was a great and strong wind and the rending of the mountains and the rocks breaking in pieces before the Lord, then an earthquake followed by a fire and then, the still small voice of the Lord, like a gentle breeze, giving him direction. He had him to understand that He was not nearly finished with him. There was work to do, victories to be won. Faith and confidence in God began to flourish filling Elijah's heart driving out the discouragement, fear and depression. With God's 'to do' list in his heart, he followed His direction and anointed two kings and his successor prophet, Elisha.
Are you weary, discouraged, distressed and depressed? Get alone with God and listen for His still small voice, like a gentle breeze beckoning you to, "Come aside, Little One, rest awhile."