4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might
die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the broom tree
and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked
on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and
said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 8 He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of
that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.(1 Kings 19:4-8)
Have you ever felt weariness suddenly during your everyday life? I would guess that you have done so
often. How do you overcome your weariness? You may take a nap, exercise, or enjoy leisure activities such as
hunting, fishing, or boating. Our weariness may be because we do not take care of ourselves physically,
emotionally, and spiritually. We do exercise for a healthy life. Perhaps you do exercise regularly by taking
walks, going to a gym, or running for one hour or more every day. However, we also need to take care of our
emotions and our spirit. How many hours do you spend on your emotional and spiritual health per day or week?
To sustain a healthy life, we have to have a balanced physical, spiritual, and vibrant life. Otherwise, we may
frequently feel weariness. If you do not take care of yourself well, your weariness leads to depression or
addiction. Weariness might be our inner enemy which can destroy our health.
According to a survey, during the COVID 19 pandemic, emotional illness was 3 times higher than before
the pandemic. It shows us how the environment influences our health. The COVID 19 pandemic brought me a big shock. I thought my car broke down on the highway. As you may remember, I had planned many things to do during the Lenten season, such as visiting homes and Bible studies. But, I had to stop them all suddenly. I
momentarily panicked. I lost my way for a while because I did not have a second plan. I prayed to God about what to do. Suddenly the story of Elijah came to my mind.
Elijah was the great Prophet of the Israelite. He destroyed all gentile gods and four hundred-fifty gentile prophets at one time on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:16-40). However, after the big victory, he heard Jezebel was upset. She says, “May the gods do to me, and more also if I do not make your life (Elijah’s life) like the life of
one of them by this time tomorrow” (1 Kings 19:2). The great Prophet Elijah heard the bad, angry woman, ran to the wilderness, and got depression. He even asked God that he might die. He said, “O Lord, it is enough now, take away my life.” And he lay down under the broom tree in the wilderness and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel
touched him and said to him, “get up and eat.” An angel brought a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. Elijah woke up and ate the food and slept again. The angel came to him also and fed him a second time. He got strength enough to keep going to the next ministry.
Like Elijah, we sometimes go straight for our ministry without taking care of ourselves. Elijah spent al his energy for his ministry without taking care of himself. So, his weariness came to him because of a bad, angry woman. His weariness led him into the midst of depression. He should have taken a nap and eaten good food,
but he ran to the wilderness. The wilderness of Israel does not have any shelter and food. So, our weariness may make us lose our way. The good thing for Elijah was that he depended on God even in his depression. And God sent him an angel to help him.
As soon as Elijah’s story came to my mind, I tried to think of the situation in a positive way. I might need to take care of myself. So, I started gardening which I love during the pandemic. I know that it is not easy to think of the COVID 19 pandemic in a positive way for those who experienced losing loved ones, jobs, shelters, and many precious things in their lives. Nevertheless, we should trust God. God may make something happen positively. We should also not lose our healthy life because of this situation, which we cannot handle. We should do what we can do, and God may do what God can do. Therefore, do not lose your daily life taking care of your physical, spiritual, and emotional health. I moved my garden into my house to continue gardening for my spiritual and emotional health through the fall and winter. I know that spiritual and emotional care is as critical as physical care. I hope you may take care of yourself, finding a balance with your physical, spiritual, and emotional health during the pandemic.
Pastor Jenny Lee