March 15, 2021

Stronger Together

 Devotion for the Week...

When my husband comes home from work, he generally doesn't hang out with me and the littles I babysit. He'll come and talk with me for a few minutes and then he goes for his run or goes to read somewhere quieter than where a crowd of toddlers are playing. There have been times over the years, though, when he has come home to find me at my wit's end because of behavioral issues with one of the kids, so he has stayed with me until the parents have all picked up their kids. Just having him in the room helps to get me through the last bit of the day.

Those days, and his support, were what I thought of when I read 1 Kings 19 last week. Elijah had just defeated the prophets of Baal and then, in retribution for killing her prophets, Queen Jezebel "sent this message to Elijah: 'May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them'" (v. 2). Yikes! She was a real winner of a queen, let me tell you. Understandably, "Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died'" (vv. 3-4). Later, he also says, "I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too" (v. 10).

Elijah was done. He had nothing left. Dealing with a toddler who has been hitting the other kids all day doesn't really compare to running for your life, but I still feel that I can relate to that feeling of just being done and not able to deal with the situation anymore. Have you felt that way? Those are the times when it's good to have someone else there to support you, even if they don't do anything except stay in the room with you.

In his moment of despair, Elijah gets a visit from God, who comes to him as a still, small voice (v. 12). God tells him to go anoint a couple of men to be future kings and then to "anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet" (v. 16). This wasn't a demotion for Elijah. God wasn't upset with him for feeling overwhelmed, alone and unable to cope. God knows we need other people, so he provides that support for us. In this case, He provided Elisha as an assistant who would one day take over for Elijah, which I imagine was a relief in the moment since Elijah was no longer alone, but also a mental relief since Elijah could stop worrying about who would lead the people after he was gone. The burden wasn't only his anymore.

Over the course of our lives, we'll probably have times when we are like Elijah - in despair and unable to cope. We'll need someone to come and hang out with us and help us get through the situation. Other times, we'll be like Elisha, providing that support to someone else. Whichever side of the equation we are on, we can rest assured that we are stronger together. 
We are stronger together |
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."


  1. This devotional was just what I needed. God leads us to help.

  2. What a good one, Leanne! We ALL have times when we feel "done." No doubt the pandemic has frequently offered such moments. But if we remain faithful - and believe me, I KNOW it can be difficult to remain so - He will get us through.

  3. Amen, amen and amen, Thank you God for giving Leanne these words of wisdom, straight from your Word.

  4. Our Pastor often used that 'triple braided cord' illustration in wedding sermons. With God wound into their relationship they would be much stronger.


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