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Fried? 3. Go Steady

August 7, 2022

Aren’t you loving this Pete Greig stuff? So am I —


The lull after a storm is a very bad time indeed for making big decisions. Don’t quit your job, question your faith, or say too much on social media! Don’t take any of your emotions too seriously for at least three days. It’s completely normal to feel quite low, a bit flat, or even depressed – there are physiological reasons for this. I’ve come to expect these emotions and to welcome them as a sign that my body is finally detoxing from an overdose of adrenaline. Rest well. Eat well. And take exercise too.

After his triumph on Mount Carmel, Elijah was fried but he handled it badly. ‘’He prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life.’’ A little later Elijah informed God that he was the only prophet left in the land, which wasn’t even remotely true.

It’s easy to loose perspective, to get isolated, to get lost in self-pity and self-importance (which are really the same thing) when we are exhausted. God’s response to Elijah is exquisitely practical. He ignores his moaning and just tells his servant to eat and sleep. And then, after a couple of days rest, God finally speaks, but only then in a gentle whisper.

It is often the case that the Prince of Peace carries us especially close in the lull after a storm, when we are exhausted. With parental affection the Father tells us to simply rest. To eat. Gradually the adrenaline and the dopamine dissipates from our system, the pyrotechnics of recent weeks die down. Finally, we are able to hear the whispers of life and love in that familiar still small voice.

The Good Shepherd loves us too much to leave us exposed for long on the inhospitable mountain tops, exhilarating as they can be. He leads us down from the spectacular heights, down into the shadows and the shelter of the valley below. And it is here that ‘he makes me lie down in green pastures and restores my weary soul.’ (Ps. 23)

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