In the story of your life you will have moments when the journey is too much for you. Not in a metaphorical or an emotionally descriptive sense, but in a real, literal one. There are times in our lives when we are not able to carry on.
This is true for everyone, even for some of the people that we might deem spiritual giants like Elijah, the fiery Old Testament prophet. After running for his life from Queen Jezebel, Elijah broke down and an angel from God had to strengthen him. The angel told him to get up and eat “for the journey is too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7). And that was Elijah, the one who called down fire from heaven, outran a chariot, and even appeared with Moses and Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration in Matthew 17.
Sometimes we are simply unable to proceed. The circumstances set against us are too great for us.
Growing up along the Pend Oreille river in Washington State, I experienced this many times when I would try to swim against the river’s current. No matter how powerfully I thought I could swim, there were times when my flippers and breaststroke weren’t enough—I needed an outside power source to carry me upstream.
The same is true in our lives. In Psalm 61:2 King David the giant killer wrote, “When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Even giant killers get overwhelmed. Even great kings run out of steam and need someone to lead them to higher, more solid ground.
And that is what the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit is both guide and rock, sustaining, anchoring, and even carrying us at times along the way.
Don’t despair if you can’t go any further in your own strength. It is an inevitable point in your story and it does not mean that you are weak or that your destiny is coming to a premature end. It means you are human and that sometimes you will need a 250-horsepower speedboat to carry you the rest of the way up the river. It will. God will. And we, your friends and allies, will too.
So, let’s take heart. Let’s keep our courage. Let’s live nobly and courageously in our times. And let’s gratefully accept the help when it is offered to us.