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In the Aftermath

I have loved serving Jesus over the years in the area of women’s ministry. There have been both highs and lows throughout the journey. Often, when I have been on a mountaintop experience or event, not long after (or even during!), there has been a huge valley to walk through. When I should be flying on wings of hope and power and joy, I have felt low and even hopeless.

Well, so did Elijah! As I finished Priscilla Shirer’s Elijah this week,I can’t help but write one more post on this amazing study. You can read the first two posts here and here.

Why does this happen, to us and to Elijah? For Elijah, it had something to do with a threat from a lady named Jezebel! He ran for his life and even became suicidal! Remember he had just beat the Baal gods in a match with the God of the universe! He knew God would prevail and it was seen by all! Then he quickly flees from the mountain (Carmel in his story) to the valley of despair and depression.

When serving the Lord is especially difficult or strenuous mentally, emotionally, and/or physically…we are TIRED! Like Elijah, perhaps we just need time away in solitude, to rest and allow the Lord to re-energize us. This is a perfect time to be still and to thank God for the opportunity to serve (no matter how you FEEL it turned out!). It’s a time to pray and reflect on what took place, and to lift the name of Jesus from our heart of love and gratitude for even allowing us to serve Him.

The beautiful thing about this part of Elijah’s story is that God didn’t tell him what an ungrateful baby he was being! He let him express his feelings, and then He provided him with bread and water.

The enemy uses these vulnerable times of exhaustion and adrenaline-drop to make us doubt our abilities and our God. But God used this time to draw Elijah back to himself as he spoke, not with fire this time, but in a whisper. It often takes time alone with our Lord to truly hear Him speak! This is when God called him to a new ministry…that of mentoring his successor! You will have to read the story yourself in 2 Kings 2 to see how God worked in this, as well as how Elijah’s life ended!

When she was in a season of discouragement, after experiencing powerful ministry growth, Priscilla shared something her mentor said to her, “Sometimes the greatest hindrance to a new move of God in your life can simply be an unhealthy preoccupation with a previous move of God in your life.

To be honest, retirement has felt a bit like this to me. From nonstop vocational ministry, airports and hotel rooms, teaching women from across the country…to not! Although the first couple of years after I left that full time position I was still very busy, over the next year it began to slow down…then COVID cancelled almost everything in 2020! And now in 2021, more of the same.

But I was encouraged by Priscilla’s comment above as well as her direction to be quiet and listen for this new calling of ministry, as Elijah did. Even though Elijah would not get to see a complete national revival in his days, something he longed for, he was able to leave that passion behind in the life of another prophet. Her words, “You are still significant to the fulfillment of God’s plan,” are true for me and for you, no matter where you are today.

Since retirement, I am loving the opportunity to serve more locally through my own church than ever before! Leading numerous discipleship groups of young women has been such a joy…something I was not able to do previously due to work travel and other responsibilities. But it’s easy to compare different seasons of serving and seek a former one.

Priscilla’s final charge is one I need to remember daily: “Be faithful. Don’t give up. There’s still work to be donethe latter days of one’s life and ministry can still be fruitful, effective, important, valuable parts of what God wants done in this generation.

Thank you, Priscilla, for that encouragement to me personally, and to other women in my season of life. You must do this study!

Banner photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash


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