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The journey is too much for you. (1 Kings 19: 7)


What did God do with Elijah, His tired servant? He allowed him to sleep and then gave him something good to eat. Elijah had done tremendous work and in his excitement had run “ahead of Ahab[’ s chariot] all the way to Jezreel” (1 Kings 18: 46). But the run had been too much for him and had sapped his physical strength, ultimately causing him to become depressed. Just as others in this condition need sleep and want their ailments treated, Elijah’s physical requirements needed to be met.

There are many wonderful people who end up where Elijah did—“ under a juniper tree” (1 Kings 19: 4 KJV)! When this happens, the words of the Master are very soothing: “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” In other words, “I am going to refresh you.”

Therefore may we never confuse physical weariness with spiritual weakness.

I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said I, as my overtaxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought that my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.
Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without questioning if I may,
Without even trying to trust and pray?
Will God forgive you? Think back, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did your mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?
Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she give her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?
Oh, how quickly a mother’s love can see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,
When overworked nature has quite given way:
Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on mother’s breast,
He knows all about it— the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;
Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.
He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits of poor, weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,
When He told them, “Sleep and take your rest,”
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed—
You have trusted your life to Him to keep,
Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.
~Ella Conrad Cowherd

Reference

Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 477). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.