Pulling Up My Big Girl Panties

remember the days when I was a young girl and my father would come in from a day’s work…dirty and tired…so tired he could hardly eat supper before he was ready for bed. My memories of those days come back and help me to keep going because he did.

Today, he is 85 and I am 53. At age 53 he was going strong, working and putting in the same kind of hours that he did when I was young. Getting up early–4:30 a.m.–and working until whenever…sometimes 6 p.m. So, when I have a week like I had last week, I think about my dad. Last week held a planned schedule of things I had to do…deadlines to meet, a wedding shower to host at our home and then the very unexpected happened.

Bill, my husband, had an episode with his heart on Tuesday morning. No warning. A three night stay in the hospital resulted in learning he has a-fib and will require surgery in the near future. The night he came home we were hosting a wedding shower in our home that had been planned months before and then came Easter weekend. I still had the desire to cook all weekend for our family time plus host some lunch guests on Sunday. Honestly though, by the time Sunday night rolled around, I was so tired…my whole body ached…and my mind was tired too…blank…no thoughts would stick.

Getting up Monday morning I read about the prophet Elijah and his obedience to the Lord by following through on all that God had commanded him to do. Even though he was obedient and had success, he got tired and discouraged even after the miracles.

In 1 Kings chapter 18 he boldly confronted the prophets of Baal. Challenging the prophets of Baal as to whose god was truly God. If you read the story, you find the gods of Baal never showed. When Elijah called on the Lord, even after he had doused his altar with water, the Lord sent fire from heaven. 1 Kings 18:38-39, “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they cried, ‘The Lord–he is God! The Lord–He is God!’ Then Elijah slaughtered the prophets of Baal.

Shortly after this miracle from the Lord and victory for Elijah…”fire from heaven”…can you believe that Elijah was afraid? and running for his life? He got very tired. He had witnessed “fire rained down from heaven”. He was bold in his faith…down to taunting the prophets of Baal…and just days later….running for his life…tired and ready to “throw in the towel” when Jezebel wanted to kill him.

That is exactly how I felt last week. I experienced God’s mighty hand. A slam packed week that ended up going so well…with a miracle for Bill by allowing a routine visit to the doctor to diagnose a dangerous heart condition…that he didn’t know he had. Three unexpected days in the hospital that resulted in knowing we can now have the problem treated and fixed. Left undiagnosed Bill would have been a stroke waiting to happen.

On the Monday morning after Easter…I realized…I was still tired. As you read on in the story of Elijah…let this encourage you as it did me….God told him to “Get up and eat” more than once. Then Lord said in 1 Kings 19:11, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is going to pass by.”

When you are tired…when you have been working ….and you feel as if you can’t go on….it is time to eat, rest and GET INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD!

We all get tired. I realize I am not alone. God is allowing me, at my request, to “Live full and die empty.” LOL! But God knows we are human. In our daily lives, and in our obedience to Him, we get dead-dog tired. That is when it is more important than ever to eat, drink and rest and, most of all, GET IN HIS PRESENCE.

Elijah was able to keep going, even when he was tired. The key to note here is: HE OBEYED GOD, even though he was tired, and he complained. 1 Kings 19:3, “He came to a broom brush, sat down under it and PRAYED that he might die. ‘I have had enough Lord,’ he said, ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.'” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and Eat.'”

I love it…learn from Elijah. As he prayed, he didn’t hold back in sharing with God. He spilled his heart to God. Important to NOTE HERE: Elijah was praying. God heard him and provided.

A snapshot of the last three weeks of my life would reveal Thomas with staph and in the hospital for seven days…and Bill’s unexpected heart episode with a three day hospital visit and surgery pending…along with a mountain of other things I won’t mention…going on. You get the picture. Even in the midst of all of this, I learned to STAY obedient. To spill my true heart to God. By staying in the presence of God, it gave me a HOLY ENERGY and I was able to PULL UP MY BIG GIRL PANTIES.

Read through the rest of 1 Kings 18. Right after the victory over the prophets of Baal and their slaughter, Elijah climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel. While on the mountain he bent down and put his head between his knees [vs.42]. In verse 46 we find, “The power of the LORD came on Elijah and tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.”

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in….no matter how difficult…SEEK to remain in the presence of the Lord and stay obedient. Do NOT LEAN ON your own UNDERSTANDING. In all your ways, and I might add “circumstances,” acknowledge HIM and HE will make your paths straight, and sustain you, as well, with HOLY ENERGY (see Proverbs 3:5-6).

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