a Broomtree, a large desert shrub in the Juniper family
1 Kings 19:1-4, 8-15a
For Sunday, June 20, 2010
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Leadership can be the loneliest of professions. You have put everything on the line, only to have a giant hole blown in your hull. You get others off the ship as best you can, but for you, there is nowhere else to go. So you watch the ship going down, the water coming up, and cry out, “God, what happened? Where are you?”
This is when you find yourself, like Elijah, slumped against the broomtree. You don’t even know how to pray, other than that you might die (v. 4). In your depressed state you are just relieved to fall into sleep (v. 5).
Just know this. Even while you are sleeping, God is going to transform this place of despair into a mark of grace. God is going to show up, just as he did for Elijah. He’ll know just what you need. For Elijah, laying in cold sand a day’s journey into the desert, what could have been better than a warm loaf of bread and a jar of water? God said to him, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you” (v. 7). Elijah, newly strengthened, was then able to travel forty days and forty nights in order to get to the next place that God had for him.
You don’t know what you need but your Heavenly Father does. He is surely going to comfort you, provide for you, strengthen you, and direct you, just as he did for Elijah. Broomtree ministry is something special God does for leaders at his own initiative and pleasure.
If you are a full-time pastor or spouse, have you heard about “Broomtree Ministries“? This is a ministry offering 5 day spiritual retreats for full-time pastors and their spouses at no cost. It is run by some wonderful friends of our family named Dwayne and Rita Hanon. Could this be the tree under which God will minister to you?