“He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said… All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.” abbreviated from 1Kings 19: 4,5
If you have been asked to lead a project, there are going to be good days and bad days. If it is God who is calling you into leadership, you can count on it. Elijah definitely had his share of the bad ones. He knew of God’s power and His commitment to His people. The trouble was, His people seemed to have corporate amnesia. God would perform some mighty act, like part the Red Sea, make the sun stand still, establish the wisest man ever on the throne when they asked for a king.
The people would praise Him and worship Him, for a while. Then back they would go to worshiping false gods, or worse, themselves.
I imagine Elijah’s wall had a hole in it the size of his head – he’d hit it so many times in frustration. At one time, he even tries to quit. He cries out that he has had enough, that it is someone else’s turn. He does not want the job of being God’s messenger any more. He was at his wit’s end, felt as if he had gotten nowhere with these people and wanted nothing more to do with it all.
Have you felt that way? Of course you have. When we are called by God to lead in some capacity, it is tempting to assume that everything will go smoothly. After all, it is God’s plan, right? Yes, it is. But God also knows human nature. He knows we are a fickle species, that we turn to our own desires. We are like sheep and we need a shepherd with a strong voice to call us back. We need a rod to yank us into the best pastures and away from the rocks of life. Sure enough, the next sunlit patch of luscious green, and we will be bounding towards it willy nilly, not seeing the wolf crouching in the shadows. If you have been in leadership for any length of times, you have seen it happen. You have been the Shepherd’s steward and done a bit of regrouping and re-gathering of the flock. Several times. Try as you might, things keep getting out of your control. It is like picking up Jello. It all oozes back through your fingers.
When Elijah had enough and cried out, God first administered to his basic needs. He gave him sleep and nourishment for his body. Then He led him away and hid him in a cave and away from the hassle of the task. But, while Elijah was in the cave, God took the opportunity to demonstrate to Elijah that He was in control of things. Then, He looked deep into Elijah’s heart and knew it was time to send him help.
If we are to be leaders, we must realize that God is control of all circumstances. Not only that, He will meet our needs, give us strength and, yes, when we have had enough, send someone else to help out or take over. He will send an Elisha. But until then, we should remember whom we serve. As leaders, it is our call to, well lead. How the people react is God’s business. Leading and controlling are two separate tasks. The first is ours, the second can only belong to God
Lord, let me have confidence in Your control over all circomstances and to turn constantly to You for guidance and support in this task You have called me out to do. I can only lead if I follow You. When frustration or dissapointment sets in, when I feel I have failed You, show me mercy and minister to me. Fill me again with Your purpose and set my eyes on You. Amen.