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July 14, 2010

I found myself sitting at the table in the dark last week. And I cried, because I got bit by a flea.

Let me just say I’m not one to have emotional meltdowns that often, but the day had been trying. Actually, the week had been trying. Well, really the past couple of weeks. It was hot. So hot I thought my skin would melt off. I felt pregnant and tired. Owen had poison ivy for the second time this summer, despite the fact we thought we’d killed all the poison ivy plants. Now, he was on steroids and they’d messed with his personality, making him very difficult and irrational to deal with. And to top it all off, our neighbor passed fleas on to us in a box of clothes for the boys.Β  We’d “fogged” the house twice, treated the yard, and sprayed organic stuff that stunk all around the base of our house. And they still came back.

I’d spent half the day getting quotes from exterminators. I was weary. And so when I got bit by that flea I just lost it. How I hated those blasted bugs!

And it felt good to just let all the tension flow out. As I dried my eyes and got up to take my much coveted cold shower, I was reminded of something I’d read a few mornings earlier.

Elijah, who had just experienced a massive victory and seen a powerful display of God’s power, was now fearfully fleeing Jezelbel’s threat of execution. He was physically and emotionally “strung out” and he escaped to the wilderness crashing under a “broom” tree. He collapses into sleep. God doesn’t chide him or immediately question him. Instead, he is allowed to sleep. Then, an angel shows up to make sure he eats and drinks food that is miraculously provided for him.

I just love this picture of God’s tender care.Β  His compassion on his servant is clearly seen. Elijah was exhausted from doing the Lord’s work and the Lord allows him time to rest and regain physical strength before “getting him back on track,” so to speak. He still has a mission to perform, but for now, there is rest.

God treats me the same way. He knows my frame, he knows I’m but dust and has compassion on my feebleness. My humanness. I want to remember this when I’m strung out and feel to be at my breaking point. Instead of “fleeing to the wilderness” in whatever form that might be I want to flee to the Lord’s care, knowing I’ll find sustenance and understanding. He knows I’m weak and will care for me.

Joining Holy Experience for Walk With Him Wednesday.

holy experience

16 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 8:09 am

    Danielle, I’m so sorry to hear what a difficult few weeks it’s been. I love what you’ve drawn from the life of Elijah here. Over the last several months, I’ve experienced His tender care when I’ve felt very, very weak and broken. So this really resonated with me. πŸ™‚ Hope things get better and better for you all.

  2. July 14, 2010 8:19 am

    oh Danielle… this brought tears. I am so glad for His rest for you.

    I would have cried too. Yes, over the flea.

  3. July 14, 2010 8:43 am

    I too love the Elijah story and also had a meltdown last week. God knows and understands when we are exhausted. Thank heaven he fills us up again. Isn’t it interesting that a tiny thing like a flea is what put you over? Often we can handle to big stuff but trip on the tiny ones. good lessons here

  4. July 14, 2010 9:41 am

    I’m feeling much the same way. What a gentle reminder that God provides rest and nourishment for our physical bodies in addition to our spirits. Today I’m praying for you that you have strength to persevere as you near the end of your pregnancy. That God’s hand will carry you in the moments you feel weary and that there will be people to come alongside you and give you the assistance you need. Thanks for sharing this beautiful word from God. πŸ™‚

  5. July 14, 2010 9:52 am

    love it. and, yep, I would have cried over the flea. or possibly used swear words…can I admit that? :blush

    • July 14, 2010 9:56 am

      Funny you should mention that. I won’t write here what I actually called them in my mind. πŸ™‚

  6. July 14, 2010 10:59 am

    We all those breakable moments and after trying to hold it together, it’s the smallest of things that do us in! I praise God He allows us to collapse into His arms of rest!

  7. July 14, 2010 11:03 am

    Great reminder and analogy..I also love that after that God sends Elijah an assistant, someone to help him. It always reminds me that God’s plan is not burn-out. And, girl, a flea infestation would push me to cry too!

  8. July 14, 2010 11:58 am

    Oh dear girl. I would have cried right there with you!

    I’m lifting you up right now and thanking God for how he has once again used your words here to encourage my own heart.

    (When living in Guatemala, my host family’s cat liked to sleep in my bed…and give me flees. Feeling your pain. I remember casting out those fleas in Jesus’ name!)

  9. July 14, 2010 4:02 pm

    I swear I’ve cried over even less than a flea!

    It’s sounds like you’ve had a rough road…it sounds like you need a good rest and a long sleep (in an air conditioned bedroom!). The recipe for rest Elijah received is being offered to you, too!

  10. July 15, 2010 8:46 am

    I’m so sorry, Danielle. These circumstances would certainly have sent me reeling. I chuckled a little over the reference to both “flea” and “flee.” Sorry, I shouldn’t but couldn’t help wonder if God caused you to “flee” to Him from a flea? πŸ™‚ We love you. Hope you’re better today.

    • July 15, 2010 9:28 am

      I was waiting for someone to remark on the flee and flea thing. I knew it would be you!! πŸ™‚ The exterminator has come, so I hope that will be the last we see of these evil little bugs. πŸ™‚

      • July 15, 2010 5:10 pm

        I’m that predictable, eh . OH boy.

        If your flees are all gone ,please come over for a respite in our AC. We have a dog w/o fleas and would like to keep it that way (and I think she would, too). But I understand the need to escape the heat. Please consider it an open invitation .

  11. July 15, 2010 1:02 pm

    Mmmmm, I like this. I’ve always wondered at that story, thought God was pushing and pushing to strengthen him so He could push him some more. I always took it as the demanding nature of Christian life. But this is a good take…much better. The toil is inevitable, but God gives us rest to make it possible.

  12. July 16, 2010 3:08 pm

    Thank you for this great reminder. My life before Liam felt like it had times of intense work and then total relaxation, sort of a sprint and rest type of thing. Life as a mom is more of a marathon, rest seems illusive. Before becoming a mom I never thought of rest as something that I needed to trust God for; I could rest pretty much whenever I wanted. Now it seems to be one of the things I desire most. I want it on my terms and I struggle to trust God for it.

  13. July 19, 2010 12:57 am

    O wow. My husband and I just hit ministry burn our earlier this year, and I never once thought of this story of Elijah. Thank you so much, I will be giving this much thought. The graceful, Divine result of burn out has been a life transforming quest for rest, balance, and serenity in the midst of a chaotic world. This thread is meeting me right where I’m at.

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