Have you ever been so tired that you felt you couldn’t take another step? That life has wrung you out and hung you up to dry? Have you ever wanted to just give up and throw in the towel?
Where is God when there is a thirst in our soul that cannot be quenched? Where is God when the darkness invades our spirit, when we’re in a dry and barren land? Where is God when there is a longing for wholeness where only brokenness is found? Where is the hope? Where is our God?
I wonder if Elijah felt like this when he ran away . . .
After defeating the prophets of Baal and experiencing God’s mighty answer to prayer for rain after a three year drought, Elijah was given a death threat from the wicked queen of the land. “Most Wanted” posters for Elijah went up in Israel over night and he fled for his
life. . .
Just a few hours earlier, Elijah had witnessed the mighty power of God and watched as the people of Israel turned to God in repentance. But discouragement invaded his soul like a mighty army and Elijah ran . . .
He ran far out into the wilderness, found a solitary tree to sit under and begged God to let him die. He’d had enough and he wanted out!
What happens next is so surprising. He falls asleep and God lets him. When he awakes the angel of God feeds him and he falls back asleep. There is no condemnation, no scolding. There is just food and rest.
Once Elijah is rested and filled, God has him travel 40 days out into the vast wilderness. While Elijah is holding out in a cave God reveals Himself to him. Not once does God reprimand Elijah or scold him for being so self-focused, for desiring to dropout. God asks Elijah a simple question: What are you doing here? And he listens to Elijah’s reply. And then God gives him another job to do.
As I reflect on this beautiful story of God’s love and care for His faithful servant Elijah, I am reminded of God’s love and care for us. In the midst of the brokenness God is there. When we are tempted to dropout from what He has called us to do we are reminded that God sees all – He knows all. He is a witness to our pain and frustration, our heartache and sorrow and every tear we cry. He promises to care for us in the same way He did for Elijah. Our job is to trust Him and to keep our eyes fixed on Him and nothing else.
God promises in Isaiah 41:10 (NLV), “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”