When You Feel Like Giving Up
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.”
– James 5:17
James tells us that the prophet Elijah was a godly man with great courage and faith. Also, that he suffered passions just like you and I. In I Kings 18 we’re told that Elijah was courageous enough to announce to King Ahab that God would not bring rain for three and one-half years, he was willing to face 850 prophets of Baal, and yet was not afraid. Later, however, Elijah would run away in fear of one woman, Jezebel. Elijah failed to remember God’s promises. In every other step that Elijah had taken, he waited for God’s command. But now, his fear led to impatience and his impatience led to disobedience. Elijah was no longer risking his life for God’s glory, rather, was trying to save his life for his own sake! Can you and I see a glimpse of ourselves in Elijah and his actions?
As I reflect back to 1982, I remember what turned out to be a very low point in my life and career. In other ways, it was a time I will always remember and cherish. I was excited about a new job in Tulsa. However, as I learned in my first meeting on the job, it was a very demanding position with what I, and others, considered involving unachievable goals. My senior manager informed me that the goals and objectives were final and failure to accomplish those goals was not an option. The excitement of the new position and new challenges brought with it a very real potential for failure.
To make matters even worse, my wife informs me that her recent medical tests revealed that she had stage four cancer. I began to evaluate my options including; resigning my job, requesting to return to my previous position, or staying the course and tough it out! I felt alone and without hope for a reasonable outcome. It seemed that my life and career had suffered a fatal blow. I spent many nights in tears and on my face in prayer. As I think back, this event was probably very similar the same way Elijah had felt.
A short time later our good friends, a godly couple, visited us. They brought with them a plaque, and on it, the scripture found in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” What a blessing that scripture turned out to be, and one I will always cherish. To me God was saying, “Don’t give up, I am with you, be still and know I am God, be still, I will fight for you!” (Psalm 46:10 and Exodus 14:14)
Through prayer and God’s Word, I realized there was hope “if” I trusted in Him. And yes, my wife was later blessed with complete healing. In spite of the many difficulties associated with the job, God provided for our needs and all of the objectives I thought were unachievable, were not only met but far exceeded. God is so good! The Apostle Paul would write in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Praise God! Psalm 50:15 says, “And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” God will not only bless our needs but far exceed His promises.
Pray: Father, open our hearts and eyes to You, for our needs, our troubles, and our hurts. Teach us, Lord, to be still, to depend upon You, and know You are God!” AMEN!
Mirl Whisman, Deacon and Small Group Leader
First Baptist Broken Arrow