THE AFTERMATH | Roller Coaster Rhythms

Roller Coaster Rhythms
1 Kings 19:3-6 (NIV Translation) Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 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.” 6 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.
We learn early on in life that there are wins and losses. We start competing at a young age to get in a sports team or get first chair in band. We learn the sweet taste of victory and the bitter taste of defeat.  These days there are more losses than wins. Loss of jobs, loss of social life, loss of loved ones, loss of financial stability. We start to feel helpless and feel like we’ll fail no matter how hard we try. It can be so overwhelming that we want to quit. Through the prophet Elijah, God tells us that it’s normal to feel that way.
You might have heard the term “self-care” a lot recently. Self-care is a generic term used to describe any activity we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. In 1 Kings 19, we see Elijah scared because his life was threatened. We see how God encouraged Elijah to rest by sending an angel to make him food. The angel didn’t tell him to get over it and wake up, but simply said “get up and eat.” There are more times than normal where all we do is sleep and eat. It can feel gross and shameful being so unproductive, but God tells us it’s okay. There are times where things are so overwhelming that it’s okay to get nothing done but sleep and eat. We need to take care of ourselves, but only in a way that is fulfilling and encouraging. 
So, if you ever find yourself going through a day without being productive, just tell yourself it’s okay. Even Elijah needed a day where he didn’t do anything. In times where our lives seem totally out of our control, the one thing that we are in control of is our own mental and spiritual health. I’d encourage you to find what fills your spirit. Maybe it’s through listening to praise music or drawing something (even if all you can draw are stick figures). Find something to do that is for no one else but yourself. It’s important because you’re important. Mark Schlasner 
Questions to Consider:
1. What are some ways you take care of your mental and spiritual health? 

2. What is your week like when you don’t do that activity?

3. Has there ever been a time where you needed a self-care day to focus on your own health? If so, how did you feel afterwards?

4. What word of encouragement would you give someone struggling during this pandemic? Also, what word of encouragement do you need right now?