DIGGING IN MY TOES!

bare feet from back_wet

Ah! The joy of releasing tired, hot feet from the confines of shoes and socks! My mom and I used to kid about our “hillbilly blood” because our shoes inevitably fell off when we came home. Warm summer rain showers were the perfect opportunity for my brothers and me to splash barefoot up and down our gravel drive in town. On summer trips with the family, I remember digging my toes into the soft warm dirt of my grandparents’ country drive. Have you ever walked through a wet vegetable garden and ended up doubling the thickness of the soles of your shoes with mud?! Just walking becomes an effort.

Sometimes our lives get like that, mired down with stuff that drags us down and overwhelms. We splash barefoot before God in our pain and doubt and it is difficult to see joy. When His wonderful grace and love showers down upon us, we in our weariness do not always see it. We may be unable to receive until it has had time to soak in. I love the words of the psalmist who wrote, (God) lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. * Like on those warm summer days, we can dig our toes into the strength of His being. God lifts us up and sets us on solid ground. What joy and release when we stand with Him in faith, free of the confines of life which weigh us down!

* Psalm 40:2

Elijah and the Still, Small Voice

Elijah! I love Elijah. Mighty prophet of God. Strong. Assured. Obedient to God’s commands. Through Elijah, God displayed His authority and great power to the people of Israel who had turned away! Fire from heaven burned up the soaking wet sacrifice… after futile attempts by the priests of Baal, god of fertility and nature, were unsuccessful. “Your god is no god!” … and 450 prophets of Baal perished.

Through Elijah, God withheld rain and a great drought resulted.

Through Elijah, God ended this drought with wind and pouring rain… and Elijah miraculously ran before the chariot of King Ahab to a town fourteen miles away.

…Then a vengeful Queen Jezebel declared death to Elijah and he ran away in fear… and ran… and ran… until he ended up in a faraway cave in which to hide.

I love Elijah! Doesn’t his story express the fear and discouragement we all feel at times? “I have given you my all God!” “Haven’t I obeyed you as best I can? I’ve been very busy doing all these things for You.” …“Now look at these hard-headed, self-centered, angry people! They have rejected you and killed all your other prophets and now I’m the only one left!”… “It’s useless. I might as well die too!”

So God passed by before that cave. There came a great wind, earthquake, and fire… but God was not in them. He who had spoken so forcefully and powerfully previously, so that all would know His authority, did not speak through them this time… God had Elijah’s full attention! But where was God?!
Then there came a still small voice, a quiet calm

Then there came a still small voice, a quiet calm.  Elijah heard the voice of God asking the same question He had asked before, “What are you doing here Elijah?” …and, still focused on himself, Elijah gave the same answer!

But in the quiet of that moment, came assurance that God was with him. “Go back Elijah. I have a job for you. There will be others to help you, kings to anoint and a prophet to succeed you. Why, there are 7000 prophets who will rise up to serve me!”

I love Elijah! His story gives us all hope and assurance. “Go back. I’m with you. You are not alone,” God says. So He speaks in that still small voice, in quiet calm amidst our storms. God had not given up on them. He hadn’t given up on Elijah and He hasn’t given up on us! He is mighty. He is faithful.

 

[Read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings Chapters 17-19 & 2 Kings Chapter 2.]