Saturday 4 July
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When I am weary and tired

I love the story of Elijah. There comes a point when he is exhausted, physically, emotionally and spiritually. In fact he is so tired that he is suicidal. “I’ve had enough, Lord. Take my life.” Not the air-brushed image of a great hero of faith, but an honest picture of a man at the end of his tether. You can read the full story in the Old Testament, in the first book of Kings, chapter 19.

The background is dramatic. He has just had a demanding contest of faith with some pagan prophets which involved a lot of physical work in building a bonfire and carrying gallons of water. He has just heard that the queen has him on her hit list. He has just run the whole length of the land of Israel, the best part of 100 miles! No wonder he is exhausted.

How does he recover? He slept for a couple of days and then ate some good food. It is no use trying to be more spiritual than God! God made us physical beings operating on very complex chemical processes. When we are tired, try a couple of early nights - making sure we get a full eight hours rested sleep. Turn of the phone and computer and the TV an hour before going to bed. Let the brain wind down. And what about your diet? Healthy eating produces energy. Check your diet.

Of course, persistent tiredness can be a sign of something else being out of balance. A visit to the doctor might be in order. Some of us are very grateful for the little pills that keep us going from day to day, keeping our hormones in balance or ensuring our blood is in good condition.

Only after a good sleep and a couple of good meals, does God deal with Elijah’s other stuff. He is suffering from from the “poor me” syndrome. “I, even I only am left.” He wants God to turn up with some injection of super-power, but the wind , fire and earthquake are not the answer either. Then it all goes quiet. God speaks in a gentle whisper: “What are you doing here?”

The whining prophet is reminded that he is not alone. There are 7000 others who are faithful to God. And God has more work for him to do!

So, listen. Who else is keeping the fires of faith burning in tough times? Look around at some of the people you know. God has not given up on you. So don’t give up on yourself!


PRAYERS


Dwell with us


Far sighted God

Make our faith leap and come alive
Help us to pay attention to our soul – that part of us which is eternal and imperishable –
and which brings us to your peaceful abode.

Your son has shown us the way
so that
we might have a glimpse of you
and a foothold on faith.
Let us not doubt the living word
first and last
Genesis and Revelation
but press on towards the destination with courage.

Encounter with us now
along the road which is
sometimes lonely
often draining
always surprising
at times scary
and bring healing and renewal to our battered weary bones.

Here we are, Lord ~
at a crossroads
not sure which way to go.
Direct us on our way ~
Fill us with clarity
and confidence
so that we do not wander from the path
which is lit for us.

In life
In death
Dwell with us,
Lord God Almighty.


Dust to Dust


Lord,

I’ve been wandering again……..

In a dry land, in a barren place,

Feeling hopeless, helpless, lost, unloved, put upon……..

And I am so thirsty.

Dried up,

Burnt out,

Dust to dust

Ashes to ashes, and all that…………..

Of course I’ve been here before,

That’s what’s so frustrating.

Will I ever learn?

Why do I keep forgetting?

To tap into that which you placed within me all those years ago……….

The day I met you……..

Your Spirit,

Your Living Water

I don’t know…………….

And then

There you are

Drawing alongside me

Reminding me that you know me inside and out

That with you there is nothing to fear

And you offer me

Hope,

Healing,

Unconditional love.

And as I drink from the stream of LIFE

My life, blooms again.

I step back from the edge,

And come home.

Amen.

Words of comfort

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.

Galatians 6:9-10

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Psalm 55:22

​Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 42: 11

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
 Why so disturbed within me? 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, 
my Saviour and my God.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayers

LET GO AND LET GOD

God, your love and grace amaze us! Through the ups and downs of daily life, you go with us.

When we are overwhelmed by the pressures around us, you assure us that we are not on our own.
When there seems no light at the end of the tunnel, you open up the way.
When we have run out of steam, you help us find new strength.
When we feel as if it is all too much, you reach out to us with the message that you are the God on whom we can depend.

We rejoice that we do not need to face the struggles that come our way on our own. We rejoice that we can let go of our fears and let you take over. We rejoice that we do not need to be discouraged or afraid, because the future depends on you. AMEN.

GOD WITH US

Loving God, at the beginning of a new day we pause for a moment in your presence. We lay before you the responsibilities that are ours this day - our responsibilities at work, with family, with friends, with home, with church.

You know the times when we feel burdened by the task, when our energy is low, our strength weak or our confidence fragile.
You know the people we are and the resources we need to fulfil the tasks before us. May we accept, graciously, the responsibilities you have put into our hands. May we know that you go with us. May we be unafraid and able to step out with our determination and confidence firmly in you. AMEN.