I don’t remember much about the rest of that afternoon.
I stumbled about the house in a fog.
It was like living in an other-worldly experience. Maybe God was inviting me into a “Come away, my beloved” moment (Song of Solomon 2:10, 13).
Life moved in slow-motion. But at least I was moving. I was living what Elisabeth Elliot had once experienced: “Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is, just do the next thing. God will meet you there.”
Yes, He did meet me there. As the Old Testament saint, Micah, said would happen, God heard the cries from my parched heart. Though I’d fallen, I would arise (Micah 7:7-8). He offered me a hand up from the rock bottom I’d hit.
The Bible records an utterly desperate time in Elijah’s life—he was running for his life, exhausted. When he hit rock bottom, an angel of the Lord came, twice, to encourage Elijah, saying, “The journey is too much for you. Get up and eat” (I Kings 19:7).
Many years ago, Amy Carmichael wrote about Elijah’s dire circumstances, but she didn’t let the old guy stay stuck down there. She also pointed out God’s grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Amy wrote of the times you and I fall into despair, when the “journey” has become too great for us. She wrote: “Is it not good and comforting to know that the angel of the Lord came again the second time? We never come to the place where we pass out of reach of the compassion of our God. ‘His compassions fail not. They are new every morning,’ never tiring of us, always strong for our help.” (Lamentations 3:22-23; Edges of His Ways)
Though I could barely sense it, God was at work. In His loving grace, He can do His most profound work in our biggest struggles.
Looking back now, I recall that day with a great deal of pain. No doubt you, too, recall pain from the past.
But did you know there’s good pain and bad pain? That suffering pain can hurt but it can also help?
Come back next week—we’ll look at both destructive pain and valuable pain.
In the meantime, take courage, get up, and get on with life. Remember Winston Churchill's words: "Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts." And find comfort from God’s words to Joshua: “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. . . . Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5-9).