“After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the LORD wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat. He went out and stood at the cave’s entrance. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?””

1 Kings 19:12-13 (CEB)

Have you ever been in a place where you were ready to end it all? Have you been in a place where you felt you were all alone? If so, why?

We’ve all been in that place at some point. Overwhelmed by circumstances and ready to just quit. The good news is that God is there. But if you’re not careful you’ll miss his voice.

The prophet Elijah had just defeated 450 prophets of Baal. He had successfully ended a three-year drought by praying for rain. Then he outran a chariot only to hear a death threat from Queen Jezebel for killing her false prophets. Elijah ran away into the desert and asked God to take his life.

Elijah suffered from PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. This administration of Israel had been trying to kill him for years. He had been on the run since he declared that God would shut up the heavens for three years. Now after making it rain they still want to kill him. What is a man to do when it seems he can’t win? Eventually he will want to quit.

You can’t quit! As difficult as it may be right now, God isn’t finished with you!

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Get away. Elijah ran into the wilderness and laid down under a juniper tree. He was honest with God. He asked God to take his life. Notice he didn’t attempt suicide he asked God. We should never take our life into our own hands. Our life is in God’s hands. Never make permanent decisions in a temporary crisis. Get away so you can hear God. Remove yourself from an immediate threat.
  2. Get you some rest. Elijah slept. God sent an angel to prepare some food for him. He ate and drank then slept some more. The angel told him to get up and eat again because he had a difficult journey ahead of him. Elijah was refreshed by the food and the sleep and traveled 40 days on that food and rest. When you are burned out take time to rest and retreat for 40 days to get back in the right frame of mind.
  3. Go somewhere to hear from God. Elijah went to a cave where God sent a strong wind but he wasn’t in the wind. Then he sent an earthquake but God wasn’t in the earthquake. Then he sent a fire that burned up everything around the cave but God wasn’t in the fire. God will use earth, wind, and fire to clear out a space in your life to hear him again. He’ll use wind to blow away what’s not necessary. He’ll use an earthquake to shake away what’s fake. Fire to burn up the nonessential. God spoke in a still small voice and asked Elijah, “Why are you here?” Sometimes we have to get to a quiet place where we can hear God again. He’s not screaming. He’s whispering. “Why are you here?” You have to unpack why you are here emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically. After you make that assessment God will whisper your antidote.
  4. Go back! You’re not the only one left. God had preserved 7,000 prophets just like Elijah and an apprentice named Elisha. All of the pain you survived led to the experience you’re supposed to share with the next generation. Go back! God has ended the famine and he will deal with Jezebel. Go back! When your work is done God will bring you home. Go back!

You are a long way from being done. God has preserved a remnant of people who are just like you. God will restore your strength. He will feed you. He will send you some help. He’s not finished with you. Go somewhere and get quiet so you can hear God. Don’t even think about quitting. God is far from finished with you. He will see you through!

Dear God,

Strengthen my brothers and sisters that feel like giving up. It gets hard standing for what’s right. I pray that you would send them a second wind, shake some stuff up, and burn up everything that no longer needs to be in their lives. The. Speak to them in a still, small voice and let them know the direction you want them to go in. Thank you for saving my life when I wanted to give up. Now I’m ready to run on and see what the end is going to be.

In Jesus’ Name,