When We Think We’ve Had Enough

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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[Elijah] went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life. 1 Kings 19:4 KJV

My community Oratorio Society selected a baritone soloist by taped audition for our performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The weekend of the concert I was responsible for our guest soloist. I met "Elijah" at our regional airport and whisked him to the tuxedo shop. From there we went on to the dress rehearsal.

Our chorus had practiced for months, and we were waiting with excitement to hear our soloist in person. When our hero tried to reproduce what we had heard on tape without the benefit of a microphone, his voice simply was not strong enough.

After the dress rehearsal, "Elijah" disappeared and I could not find him. We were miles from town and his lodging, so there was no way he would have left on his own. He didn’t even know the way to town.

I never found "Elijah" that night. The next day a few hours before the concert, the director went over to his guest quarters and found him holed up in humiliation. Like the angel that ministered to the first Elijah in the desert, the director assured the depressed young man of our desire to work with the gifts that he had rather than harshly judge him.

That evening, "Elijah’s" performance was enough. With the help of our local guardian angels, he was able to do his best.

The biblical Elijah was at the lowest point of his career when he ran away from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s murderous intentions. He didn’t have a plan when he headed for the desert. Emotionally drained and clinically depressed, he flopped down under a broom tree and prayed, “It is enough. Take away my life” (1 Kings 19:4). God wasn’t yet ready to send a chariot to take Elijah to heaven. Instead He sent an angel with fresh hot bread and cool refreshing water. Strengthened by the food, Elijah headed for Mount Horeb. There he experienced an earthquake, wind, fire, and the still small voice of God. Then God pointed Elijah back the way he had come and gave him an assistant, Elisha, who would become his successor.

Before Elijah headed for the desert, he had no concept of his future. Like my baritone friend, he was running away. But a faithful God met him where he was and provided the opportunity and inspiration he needed to fulfill his prophetic vocation.

Do you feel like you’ve had enough in your career? Don’t worry if you can’t see the future and need time out. Even a negative prayer such as “Take away my life” is still prayer—an invitation to God to answer. No experience in your life is so negative that God can’t find the right angel to send your way.