“It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life…” (1 Kings 19:4)
Elijah had suffered deprivation, ostracism, and threats. He had challenged and vanquished four-hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal, and was now literally running for his life. In verse four of Kings nineteen, exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally, he drops down under a juniper tree and tells God, “I’ve had enough; kill me now and get it over with.”
It may be true that people who possess an intense, driven personality like Elijah’s are more prone to crises than others, but it’s also true that all of us can reach a point in our lives where we feel the circumstances are beyond our control and, and more importantly, our capacity to withstand them has reached its limit. To point to other saints who have endured far worse is an exercise in futility, however, since it sets a standard unattainable by some and perhaps minimal for others. To look to other Christians for instruction and inspiration is beneficial, but comparing ourselves to one another is a sure sign of spiritual immaturity (2 Cor.10:12). “Enough” is not an exact measurement. It’s simply “as much or as many as required.” The only question is, by whom? You and I must decide who will set the “enough” point – God or us.
We may have a hint, though, from these words of Jesus in Matthew 10:25, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” Does this mean that until we have suffered as He suffered, we will never be good enough? No, but it does mean He is the only One who has the right to determine the extent of our capabilities. Jesus Christ did only what the Father asked Him to do—no more, no less. “I have finished the work thou gavest me to do.” And by doing so, He was able to say, “I have glorified thee on the earth” (Jno.17:4).
Just think; if God had answered his prayer, Elijah would have missed his spectacular carriage ride to Glory! One thing is certain. If it’s God’s will for you and I to do what we’re doing – or endure what we are enduring – God is the only One who can say when enough is enough. We will not need to ask Him to deliver us, as Elijah did; He’ll do it in His own time and in His own way. He will be glorified, and that will be enough!