Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Time Tested Remedy

Branson and Beckett enjoying a good nap on a boat!
Sleep does wonders!
 We read in magazines and hear constantly about how damaging stress is to our physical bodies.  Yet, I am not certain how we can live in this world and not experience it.  Over the years, I have laughed out loud whenever doctors have suggested that I go home and rest more.  How do you do that when you are working every day or caring for small children or both?  However, it is important that we consider ways to reduce stress in our life because it can lead to depression, physical ailments and general fatigue.
     God always has wonderful answers for us if we will be diligent to seek His face.  Doctors have confirmed this important remedy too:  sleep!  That's right.  Sleep....a good 8 hours of sleep is really what we all need to reduce the effects of stress on our bodies.  Those of us with chronic pain or other ailments are aware that a good night of rest can really be a big help.  So lets look at a good example of God's remedy in action.
     Read I Kings 19:1-18.  In this chapter, we see a triumphant but utterly fatigued Elijah who has just wiped out a large number of the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.  Queen Jezebel sent a messenger to let Elijah know that he was as good as dead.  In verse 3-4, we can see the result of this message:  "and when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba which belongs to Judah, and left his servant.  But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree.  And he prayed that he might die, and said, 'It is enough!  Now, Lord take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'"
     On top of being tired from his preaching on Mount Carmel, he adds to that a fear of losing his life and a desperate, lengthy run into the wilderness.  We can see as we read his words that he was depressed.  Who would not be?  Yet God provides the solution.
     Twice in this passage God gives Elijah sleep and food.  While Elijah in his depression has decided that he is the only faithful one left in Israel, God is busy giving him what he
     At the end of this passage and after Elijah has had a chance to recuperate from his exhaustion, the Lord gives him new instructions and tells him that he is not alone in his faith.  After rest, Elijah can hear the Lord.  Before, he could only hear his own depression, fatigue and despair talking.
     What a lesson for each of us.  We need adequate rest and nourishment if we are to be able to carry on for our God.  I can personally relate to this whole story.  Most of my life I have pushed myself to the max even beyond fatigue at times to complete some project.  This is when the world looks black to me just as it did for Elijah.  I cannot think clearly nor do I have joy in my life.
     Sleep does not totally eradicate stress in our lives, but it certainly helps to reduce the effects in every aspect of our being:  mentally, physically and spiritually.  Elijah couldn't hear God when he was exhausted and neither can we.  We are not capable of really being all that God has called us to be when we do not take care of this temple of our body.
     Psalm 4:8 reads:  "I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."  Knowing that our Lord is bigger and greater than all our needs or worries should free us to rest and take care of ourselves.  When we do, we will be able to serve the King of Kings with all our heart, soul and strength.  Selah!

Please make certain you visit the blog tomorrow to read another story from Women in Scripture.  You will be blessed and you can enter the book give away as well.

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