OPINION

When the Journey is Too Great

Sarah Dixon Young

On an overnight flight to South Africa, I sat next to a young father cradling his little girl. He looked exhausted before we even left the ground and gratefully took the aisle seat.

“I’ll be up a lot, I expect,” he said.

Two year old Augusta did very well all night, but she still required a lot from her father. He shared some of his story: His wife had had a new baby in London only the day before, and his father was dying in Johannesburg.

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The physical journey was nothing to the emotional one, he seemed to say.

I no longer thought much of my own travel fatigue as I watched this father care for his little one, even in the midst of great personal sorrow. We parted in the morning with a prayer and well wishes, and I have often wondered how things turned out for Augusta and her father.

When the prophet Elijah was at his lowest, he crawled under a broom tree in the middle of the Beersheba wilderness and asked to die. He had just seen God triumph, but he had also just received the ultimate death threat. He was anxious, afraid, and exhausted.

Where do you go when you are anxious, afraid, or exhausted? I know where I go- I go to make lists. My lists make me feel like I am doing something about it. I like the feeling of control, even if it is an illusion! There are lots of places we turn for comfort (and the illusion of control)- food, shopping, alcohol, marijuana, medication, hobbies, gambling, or Netflix bingeing. None of them fix it, do they? They all wear off, wind down, or come to an end.

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Elijah thought he was looking for death in the desert of Beersheba, but he found Life. The angel of the Lord appeared with bread and water and commanded Elijah to wake up and eat. The angel even affirmed, “The journey is too great for you.”

Is the journey too great for you, friend?

Jesus wants to provide what you need, just like he did for Elijah. When Elijah ate that cake of bread, He was partaking in the Bread of Life. When he drank from that jar of water, he was drinking the Living Water that would flow in him eternally. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Living Water. Jesus was enough for Elijah, and Jesus is enough for us.

A cross is seen through trees.

We don’t need to look for comfort or peace elsewhere. Only Jesus truly comforts with lasting peace- no matter how arduous the journey!

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Elijah got up, and he ran for forty days and forty nights in the strength of that food.

Where did he go?

He ran to Mt. Sinai, where the Lord had appeared to Moses. And there, the Lord appeared to Elijah.

He gave Elijah the same three things He offers to give to us: 1. His Presence 2. His Word, and 3. His tasks. Instead of dwelling on our fears, our own clumsy efforts, or our terrible journey, we can rest in His presence, obey His Word, and faithfully carry out His tasks.

That brings lasting peace.

Want to participate in a 30 Days of Peace in Christ Challenge? Find short daily devotionals from Sarah Dixon Young at www.facebook.com/SarahDixonYoung or subscribe to her youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6reLn1Fntj5IGgDByOKiQA

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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