The Journey Is Too Great

And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him [Elijah], and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.  (I Kings 19:7)

Sometimes the journey is too great, the way too long.  Elijah had just seen a stunning victory and conquest for the Lord against the 450 prophets of Baal.  Yet now he was in the darkness of deepest depression and desiring the Lord to take his life.

Even the great apostle Paul despaired of life when his journey became too great (II Corinthians 1:8).  “But God, who is rich in mercy,” (Ephesians 2:4), delivered Paul, thereby giving him confidence that God would yet deliver him during those times when his journey would again become too great (II Corinthians 1:10).  

At times my journey also becomes too great.  And it’s not just the physical, but often the emotional and spiritual.  It must be remembered that the physical has great a effect upon one’s emotional and spiritual state.  Sometimes, because of my physical trials, I become very discouraged and even depressed.  There have also been two times when I despaired even of life.  During the sore sicknesses of Dengue fever (2012), and cerebral malaria (2017), I asked the Lord that, if He had no work left for me to accomplish, would He please hurry up and take me home.  Those tropical sicknesses had so ravaged my body and baked my brain with fever, that I just wanted it to be over.  When the journey of sickness had become too great, when the recovery seemed too long, that was when the Lord drew very near, nourishing me spiritually, strengthening me emotionally, and delivering me physically in His way and time.  That closeness was intense.  When I could not read or pray or even think, that still small voice spoke clearly to my heart through scripture and song, encouraging me, comforting me, holding me near.  

Elijah’s work was not done, his journey was not over; nor was Paul’s.  And neither was mine.  There is yet work for me to accomplish.  

Take courage my soul.  When the journey is too great, it is then that the Lord is the closest to thee.  

And the same is true for you.  Whatever the cause of your difficulty, discouragement, or depression might be; whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, or even all three, trust God (II Corinthians 1:9).  He will raise you up again.  

With the rough and rutted roads, the journey out of our village was often too great for my health to bear. The trip to the city of Bo is 37 miles but can take four or more hours depending on the weather and road conditions. It was not unusual for me to not leave Baomahun for a year or more!


Post Script: I have had malaria 8 times but cerebral malaria is especially hard on the body and very dangerous.  I praise the Lord that He brought me through that hard trial.

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  1. Laura Malm on June 13, 2024 at 2:20 am

    Thank you for this thoughtful and encouraging testimony. Sometimes the trials are just too much. Our Pastor had a similar message tonight and I need to spend some time in prayer.

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