Reading time: two minutes. 1 Kings 19 is a cautionary tale for church workers. We all ought to be familiar with the lessons from Elijah’s collapse under the broom tree and God’s gracious restoration of the prophet. Today we reach the heart of it, found in verse 9, “And the word of the Lord came to Elijah…” and also verse 12, “And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” In Elijah’s moment of despair, God spoke, and soon he was on his way back into ministry. At every stage of the Elijah narrative, there was a Word from Lord, except one. The Bible does not mention a Word from God to Elijah between the moment of victory on Mt Carmel until their retreat together on Mt Horeb. It makes you wonder if the reason for his collapse was the absence of the Word of God during his time of greatest need. As a called church worker, Elijah was in the Word of the Lord business. To those who wanted to hear the voice of God the least, Ahab and Jezebel, Elijah spoke it the clearest and the boldest. “I have not made trouble for Israel, but you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals.” That’s strong language. We’re called to speak truth to a world that often does not want to hear it. Sometimes those in the church respond to truth the way Ahab and Jezebel did, rejecting the prophetic voice of the Lord’s Word. It’s in moments like those that people like us not only bear the Word of the Lord, but we NEED the Word of the Lord. Ministry is an impossible task. None of us is capable in our own strength of fulfilling the demands of bearing God’s Word to a fallen world. That’s why in our vows of faithfulness we always say, “Yes, with the help of God.” And God’s help comes to us in the Word. The Word of God is not only our mission, it is our fuel for pursuing the mission. When we struggle, God’s Word is a Word power. When we stumble, God’s Word is a Word of forgiveness. When we despair, God’s Word is a Word of hope. When we’re dumbfounded, God’s Word is a Word of wisdom. When we’re frustrated, God’s Word is a Word of encouragement. When we’re lonely, God’s Word is a Word of His presence. When we’re tired, God’s Word is a Word of refreshment. Lorne Sanny once said, “If your output exceeds your input, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” In your Elijah moments, turn to the promises of God’s Word. Even better, to avoid the collapse under the broom tree, rely on the power of the Word of God as your fuel for a life in ministry every single day. Next week: a word you should never listen to. Thanks for reading. Are you interested in helping bring a Grace Place Wellness Retreat to your region? We’d love to hear from you. Contact Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities. Let’s have a conversation about bringing our Church Worker Retreat to your area soon!