Sometimes you run out of words. You don’t know what to say, and God feels far away. Even though you know you ought to, praying feels like another thing to check off that leaves you feeling guilty.
Life is complicated. In an age of information a Google search away, with friends on Instagram posting photos and updates, we can forget real life is an unfolding journey without easy answers.
We look at our everyday lives, overwhelmed with dilemmas, conflicting desires and needs, and we feel discouraged. Ironically, when we’re most stressed, we often deprive ourselves of what we need most: God’s goodness.
We can burn ourselves out trying to serve God, rather than taking care of ourselves — the way God would want, if He were here in person today. Somehow, we’ve learned we deserve rest only after we’ve solved our problems or we’re no longer struggling. It’s the opposite.
What we need is God’s TLC (His tender, loving care). TLC is what God gave Elijah to resuscitate his soul after his spirit was broken. Although Elijah had done everything he knew to do — even defeating the prophets of Baal, his problems did not go away. Stress broke Elijah’s spirit.
“I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, for I am not better than my ancestors.”
1 Kings 19:4 (NIV)
In that place of despair, Elijah woke up to find fresh bread baking on hot stones and water left just for him.
Warm bread, water poured into a jar — it was beautiful care, expressed through handmade touches. Not only that, God sent an angel to touch him. Elijah was so exhausted, God sent the angel a second time to touch him again.
When we take time out to receive TLC, we give God the chance to touch our heart. We give ourselves the chance to eat warm bread, to sip without hurrying, to sit beneath a tree and allow ourself to feel tired. When we give our body the break it longs for, we hear God’s whispers to us. The angel said to Elijah that day, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you”
1 Kings 19:7 (NIV).
God was softly saying, I understand. Elijah needed to hear those words in order for his soul to start mending.
These are the words Jesus longs to whisper to us as well today: the journey is too great for you. God invites us to stop and find rest that can truly sustain us for the journey.
From there, Elijah went on to crawl into a cave. Far from life as he knew it, Elijah heard God whispering to him through the kiss of a gentle breeze. God knew Elijah needed physical rejuvenation first in order to hear the soft voice of God.
God’s TLC opens up the path to our souls so we can feel His nearness again. It’s time to give ourselves permission to receive the TLC we need.
So, give yourself permission to rest. It’s okay to have limits. Everyone does. Be honest if you’re burned out and discouraged. Take a break from toxic relationships. De-commit from responsibilities for a season. Schedule a personal TLC soul retreat to eat well, sleep, enjoy what reenergizes you, soul search, or simply breathe.
You’re worth it.
The journey is too great.
I need your touch.
Help me to receive your TLC.
Help me be brave enough to rest.
What kind of TLC do you need most today? Take action
and receive the rest God longs to give you.