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 abundant water… 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.
There God spoke to him, “What are you doing here Elijah?
And Elijah replied, 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!”
I love Elijah! Doesn’t his story express the fear and discouragement we all feel at times?!
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. 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. And 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.
May we find rest and courage in Him, giving thanks for His promise and faithful presence. Amen.
What a welcome southern invitation bringing thoughts of warmth, good company, and honest labor! Settling down with a cool drink of water and comfortable companionship lifts one’s spirits. After a long but satisfying day of work, I look forward to sitting and relaxing for a while. Don’t you, too?
I find that it’s harder to get to sleep at night if I haven’t given myself some time to just sit and find refreshment in some simple enjoyable things. Easy time talking with a family member is appreciated, as well as some time alone. I look forward to a nice quiet spot by myself where I can read or write, spend some time in thought, pray, and do other things which I enjoy.
What are some things that refresh you after a long or busy day or week? Those of us who are caregivers may be especially challenged to create moments to refresh yourselves. Seeking ways to pause, if only for brief breaks, will do much for our frame of mind and our ability to do our best with a positive attitude.
This reminds me that even Jesus was intentional about creating those times. As he was traveling with his disciples, they stopped at a well and Jesus sent the disciples off to town to buy some food. He sat down by the well, tired and thirsty, seeking refreshment and welcoming the pause.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. John 4:6
I remember my childhood days of warm summer evenings playing outside with my brothers and neighborhood friends. I hear again the sounds of occasional passing cars, televisions, and our laughs and shouts, as our parents sat and talked after finishing the day’s chores… drinking from that well that comes from God. I remember times when we gathered with my family around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other. I’m thankful for those times and for opportunities to create them now, to pause and be refreshed.
May you be blessed this week as you rest in your travels and sit down by the well. Prayers for refreshment and renewal, quiet times of rest, and comfortable companionship!
• Consider wisely what you lean on • A strong base lends support for the work at hand • There are times to step back to relieve pressure • Relieving pressure allows room for healing and rest • It’s good to have something handy to whack with when needed • Whack away those doubts and fears • Making good choices requires forethought and regular practice • When temptation comes, keep a firm grasp on positive values • Choose the right material to build character and integrity • It is good to unload our worries to a listening ear • Whether climbing peaks or walking across the room, a supportive friend is welcome • Taking the weight off our shoulders brings great relief • Shepherds both guide and protect with their staff • God our Shepherd walks with us and shines through our weakness
Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.