I’m wondering as I write my blog this morning how many other moms are out there feeling a bit frazzled and overwhelmed like I am. There’s no huge crisis and I am so thankful for that but, some days, like this day, I feel like I am standing in the aftermath of a tornado. Have you ever seen those pictures where a family stands in the midst of what once was their home and strewn all around them are their belongings and broken furniture? I also wonder how they know where to begin. How do they start such a seemingly insurmountable task?
Well, we haven’t faced a tornado of that sort, I am glad to say. But, I do feel like we’ve been facing a whirlwind of activity and changes for a good solid year. Honestly, when I think back on all that has happened in the past twelve months I am astounded and left dizzy.
I looked up synonyms for the word whirlwind and I found myself nodding in agreement as I read the list. Here are just a few.
I can just see y’all now nodding along with me. You may not be the homeschooling mom of seven who is trying to find time to write a novel and is very active in her church. You most likely have your own whirlwinds blowing through your life right now even if they are of a different sort.
The Bible mentions whirlwinds a number of times. Two of the most famous involve the Prophet Elijah. They both came to mind this morning and I want to share with you my thoughts about one of them and the whirlwinds that we are facing this very day.
In 1 Kings 19 we find Elijah afraid and literally running for his life. To understand this fully you’d need to read the chapters before and know the backstory. Elijah had just seen experienced an enormous victory and participated in an astounding miracle. One might assume that he would be shouting the victory, having a celebration or sighing a great sigh of relief. But, instead, he was spent, he was tired, he was weary and he was worn out.
Look, I can relate with Elijah. Maybe you can too. We press on and stand up for what’s right and face down our fears and see great victories. Then, we think, we will be able to catch our breath and rest a while when wham! There’s the next next threat or crisis or decision to make. After a while, we may find ourselves afraid and feeling like running as far as our trembling knees will take us. Elijah was in such a state that in verse four he says to the Lord, “I’ve had enough.”
I can’t count the times that I’ve said something similar. “Enough is enough!”
The Lord didn’t zap him or scold him. You know what He did? He sent an angel to minister to him. He told him to rest. He told him to eat. He told him to get up.
Afterwards Elijah journeyed to Mount Sinai and spent the night in a cave. It was there, alone and disheartened that the Lord spoke to Elijah. Elijah didn’t hold back in his answer. Basically, he said he had done his best and that wasn’t enough and he felt alone. Ugh.
I have so been there. So many times in this journey of being a mother I have felt like I wasn’t enough and that I was alone in my shortcomings. What about you? Well, as this story continues, we see this noteworthy moment between Elijah and God. After Elijah had said all he felt needed saying God told him to leave the cave and stand before Him on the mountain. In verse eleven Elijah has a choice to stay in that cave of isolation or to obey. The first thing you and I have to decide is if we are going to sit in despair or get up and move.
I wonder how Elijah felt when he once again, did the right thing and all heck broke loose. A windstorm (tornado, whirlwind) that was so terrible it blasted and tore loose the rocks of the mountain! Then, we read a very significant statement. The Lord was not in the wind. Then, there was an earthquake. But, the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then, there was a fire and as with the whirlwind and earthquake, the Lord was not in the the fire.
I know what the next sentence says. I know how this ends. But, at that very moment, Elijah did not know. All he knew was he was trying to obey a God that he trusted. All he knew is there were more storms coming from every direction. More upheaval. More mayhem. More confusion. More crisis’. More commotion.
Maybe that’s where you find yourself right now. Maybe you are feeling like there’s another impending storm and battle right around every corner. Maybe you are considering stepping back into the safety and isolation of that darkened cave. Maybe you just aren’t sure you can take one more unexpected blast. But, before you decide, read the rest of Elijah’s encounter and take courage as you face today.
And afterwards… “there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
Today I pray that no matter how hectic life is, you will be able to hear the gentle whisper of the Lord. If the noise rumbling in your ears like an earthquake is a financial crisis, don’t expect an answer in the noise. If the fire that seems to encompass you is the heartbreak of a broken relationship, don’t expect healing from the source of your pain. If the whirlwind in your life that is leaving you dizzy right now is an unexpected diagnosis, don’t expect compassion from the disease. Instead, when all is said and done, listen for the whisper and I’m believing, for you and for me that whisper will be, “Enough is Enough.”