Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lessons from under the juniper tree...

It's been a few days since I've added to the blog. I've been sitting under the juniper tree.

For those who haven't read my previous few blogs, this all started one day when I was working out and had a drop in my blood sugar. Follow that with a personal disappointment and a doctor's appointment where he told me all the different ways I could die or be disabled thanks to diabetes and I found myself fighting discouragement in a big way. None of the victories I had experienced prior to this made a difference...I needed to go and sit under a juniper tree. (Ever notice it's not just ONE thing, but a whole bunch of things that seem to hit at once? Yep, that's pretty much the way the enemy works.)

In the Bible, Elijah sat under a juniper tree. He had just defeated all the prophets of Baal, called down fire from heaven, and then called down rain! Then Jezebel, a mere woman, sent word that she was going to kill him and Elijah just sat down. 

A pep talk isn't what he needed...Elijah needed rest, food, and a reality check.

According to the story, the first thing Elijah did when he sat down was fall asleep. Sometimes the main thing we need is rest. We like to believe we are super human and that rest is for weak people, but that just isn't true. We need rest. Our muscles need rest. Our minds need rest. Our spirits...need rest. 

The next thing that happened in the story was an angel woke Elijah and told him to eat. 

EAT AND REST - this does not mean do what I tend to do when my blood sugar drops. You shouldn't reach for the 3 day old doughnut and stuff it in your mouth in hopes of some quick relief. When I am in that "I've got to have food" state, I don't always think clearly - I also don't feel like taking the time to prepare something that will nourish. I want to feed my feelings. But that's not what my body needs. It may give me a moment of relief, but just as quickly I will spiral downward again. What is needed is real food.

When I'm exhausted, I also need to eat spiritual food. Spiritual eating doesn't mean plopping down in front of the tv in hopes of some momentary distraction from the chaos. It might be a quick fix, but it's like that 3 day old doughnut (usually a rerun!) My spirit is hungry and while it is easy to "veg" in front of the tv, it won't help. What is needed is the real food found in God's Word. Like most "real food" it takes a bit more effort to get, but it makes all the difference in getting back up from under that juniper tree. 

If you are fighting discouragement, don't reach for the remote, the computer or the junk food. You were made for better stuff. Rest and real food. It's more than just some old testament's what we need now.

I know there are more lessons underneath this tree, but those will have to wait for another day.

If the devil cannot make you puffed up by pride, he will try to dampen your spirit by discouragement. It's his best tool!

I may not win the battle against diabetes, but I can promise that diabetes will not beat me. 

1 Kings 19

The Message (MSG)

1-2 Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: "The gods will get you for this and I'll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you'll be as dead as any one of those prophets."

 3-5 When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day's journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: "Enough of this, God! Take my life—I'm ready to join my ancestors in the grave!" Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.
    Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, "Get up and eat!"
 6 He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep.
 7 The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, "Get up and eat some more—you've got a long journey ahead of you."
 8-9 He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep.
    Then the word of God came to him: "So Elijah, what are you doing here?"
 10 "I've been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies," said Elijah. "The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me."
 11-12 Then he was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before GodGod will pass by."
    A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, butGod wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
 13-14 When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, "So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?" Elijah said it again, "I've been working my heart out for God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me."
 15-18 God said, "Go back the way you came through the desert to Damascus. When you get there anoint Hazael; make him king over Aram. Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi; make him king over Israel. Finally, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Anyone who escapes death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu; and anyone who escapes death by Jehu will be killed by Elisha. Meanwhile, I'm preserving for myself seven thousand souls: the knees that haven't bowed to the god Baal, the mouths that haven't kissed his image."


Anonymous said...

Hello anotherbattlewon. My name is Donna. I'm sitting here bawling after reading your Juniper Tree blog. I suffer from debilitating anxiety and have not known where to turn. Just around 2 weeks or so ago, I asked Jesus back into my heart. My momma often mentions the Juniper Tree when I am really scared, so I googled it today and there was your blog. Thank you for it and God Bless You. -Donna Lynn.

Regina Argueta said...

Your blog on the Juniper tree was heartfelt and inspirational. God knows all, sees all and is in all. Remember all things are possible if you only believe.

Regina Argueta said...

Your blog on the Juniper tree was heartfelt and inspirational. God knows all, sees all and is in all. Remember all things are possible if you only believe.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I love what you've shared. I was reading the story of Elijah and wanted to know what was significant about about the Juniper tree and fell upon your blog. The interesting thing is that the native Americans use extracts from juniper to help treat diabetes ( something I found out in my search on juniper) Anyway, just thought I'd share some links with you on lifestyle changes that can help with diabetes that I share with my patients. By the grace of God, diabetes can be reversed. I see it with patients who are willing to make changes in their lives. You don't have to get the long term effects. Check out the free links below. May Our Great Physician continue to bless you!

Dr. "Sundee" :)