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Parenting is like a marathon race and as a single parent there are many times when exhaustion consumes me and I don't think I'll ever make it to the finish line. The days are long and overwhelming with so many jobs to tackle. Often the to do list seems like it will never end and fatigue frequently sets in. Some days the spirit may be willing but the flesh is too weak to keep going. There are days where nothing helps but a long rest. Over the course of the past eighteen years I have had periods of time where I sleep until I have to go to work, I work and then crawl right back into bed. When my kids were gone on their mission trip I did this every day they were gone. My body was simply too exhausted to do anything more than I had to do. I've learned to sleep when I'm too tired to move. After all isn't this what Elijah did?

In I Kings 19 we are told, "Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights.

There are times we all have to rest, nourish ourselves and rest again so we can strengthen ourselves for the remainder of the tasks we must tackle. May we all learn to sleep when when we are in need so that we can refresh ourselves.

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