I ran a ½ marathon once. 21.1 km or 13.1 miles. Years ago. BC. Before children.
I didn’t do amazing but I finished.
Once I crossed the finish line, I had only enough in me to take a shower and eat a pasta dinner.
Then, what I assume rigor mortis felt like, started to set in.
I had only enough to complete the race, then rest and recuperation was necessary.
My spiritual marathons have ended the same.
Elijah, an Old Testament Prophet’s experiences were similar. 1 Kings Chapter 19 tells us that Elijah, after two significant spiritual victories found himself in the wilderness, under a tree asking the Lord to take his life. ‘“…I have had enough, LORD, “ he said. “Take my life;..’ I Kings 19:4
Miraculously the Bible tells us that an angel appeared to Elijah not once but twice and gave him exactly what he needed. Food, drink and rest.
‘The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”’ I Kings 19:7
…….for the journey is too much for you…….
There is an essential element missing in my necessary seasons of rest. A degree of empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It’s back to basics, breathing, eating and sleeping.
So, like a deflated balloon, I wait until the next marathon.
It’s in this deflated position that I must remember three important Truths while I rest, eat and drink.
1)It was never about me. In those times when I am smack dab in the middle of my God calling, and things are going well, that it is not because I have done all the right things. I often look back on those times and truly wonder how I did it. It’s not about me and how well I can do things; it’s about how perfectly God has empowered me to love and serve others.
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:11
2)It is not about me. Deflated and lifeless; seemingly purposeless as I rest, I need to recall it’s not about me. The Spirit gives what is needed and when. It’s not time to be inflated.
“All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Corinthians 12:11
3)It will not be about me. Like Elijah there will come another spiritual marathon; God’s purposes and plans for me are not over. And when He calls me again, He will equip me as He has so faithfully done in the past.
“…We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” Colossians 1:9-11