Before I had kids, I knew exactly what kind of a mother I wanted to be.
You know, the kind of mother who kept a perfectly clean house, who served delicious and nutritious meals, who had fun with her kids and never raised her voice.
I wanted to be a super-mom. I wanted to be the best mom that the world has ever seen.
But nine years and three kids into this parenting journey, and I find myself hiding in the bathroom with the door locked, longing for just a couple of moments of peace. I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, depressed at my unmet expectations, and maybe even a little resentful of my circumstances.
Don’t get me wrong! I love my family with all of my heart. But, sometimes, it just feels like life is asking too much. I am ready to turn in my super-mom cape and be done!
Which is perhaps why I love the story of Elijah so much.
Now Elijah was a true super-man prophet.
I mean, seriously, this guy had been fed by ravens, raised a boy from the dead, called down fire from heaven, led in the destruction of 450 prophets of Baal, by prayer ended a 3 and a half year drought, and outrun a king in his chariot.
But, somewhere in the midst of being a super-man prophet, Elijah got tired, overwhelmed, and discouraged. Things weren’t going the way that he thought they would.
After all of the miracles that Elijah had seen God perform, it only took the threat of a wicked queen to send Elijah scurrying for the wilderness, seeking cover under a juniper tree. (No indoor plumbing, you know, so he couldn’t just lock himself in the bathroom.)
The super-man prophet Elijah had “had it”! He was ready to throw in the towel and be done. “It is enough; now O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
In Elijah’s words, I hear my own heart cry as a mother. “Enough, Lord! I thought I could do this. I can’t! I had ideas of how this should go. It’s not going that way, Lord, and I am ready to be done! I love my kids, but I just can’t handle this anymore.”
Now, Elijah knew God’s power. God would have been perfectly just in raining a little fire down on Elijah for his doubts, frustrations, and resentments. But, God didn’t do that. Instead, God’s response to Elijah is quite surprising:
1. God let Elijah sleep.
Dear mother who is about to give up, how are you doing in the sleep department? As a fellow mother who knows what it is like to go for six months without ever once sleeping through a whole night, may I encourage you to make sleep a priority? Before you laugh bitterly and click away from this post, hear me out.