I Kings 19.3-5
“Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.”
Driven by his fear of Jezebel, Elijah fled south into Judah all the way to Beersheba (150 miles south of Jezreel). This is the southern most part of Judah. Clearly, he wanted to get as far away from Jezebel as possible.
Even when he got to Beersheba, Elijah dismissed his servant and went a day’s journey into the wilderness.
Elijah’s fear qescalated into discouragement, despair, and depression. As the passage reveals, Elijah was despondent to the point he wanted to die.
This is a far cry from the courageous man of faith who had triumphed over the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel! Elijah was strong in response to victory, but he had not learned to handle a loss.
The reality is that in a fallen world, losses happen. In our journey through life we will not always be victorious. We will experience setbacks, difficulties, and problems, and they will happen more than once. That is the real world.
If we are going to be successful in life, if we are going to be effective agents of the kingdom of God, we need to learn how to handle adversity. We don’t have to like it, but we must learn how to handle it.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1.2-4)
The Lord is calling.