Photo Credit: Kim Clayton Lance
He hit a wall. Even Elijah’s great faith ran out once upon a time. Even after he solidly challenged the prophets of Baal, where God displayed His great power – Elijah had trouble relying on God when Jezebel shortly thereafter threatened him. My friend Virginia wrote an amazing blog post about Elijah’s situation. You will be encouraged if you read it. https://rosesintherubble.com/2018/07/20/elijah-elijah-elijah-elijah/
Was Elijah just tired, or was his faith teetering on the edge of a cliff? I Kings 19:11-12 (The Message) says: “Then he [Elijah] was told, ‘Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.’ A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God 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.”
One of my favorite sermons about Elijah is delivered by Timothy Keller. See this link and look for the sermon on June 30, 2016 entitled “The Still Small Voice.” https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-still-small-voice/id352660924?i=1000371718377&mt=2
God seems to know what we need and how we need to hear from Him when we are feeling low and terrified and tired like Elijah. He has command of the wind, earthquakes, and fire. No question. He could use any of these powerful means at any time to communicate a truth we need to hear or His presence that we need to experience. But, sometimes He knows we hear Him better when we are alone in the quiet place with His word. Sometimes He comes nearer to us in the solitary and secure place when our faith needs reviving. With a gentle and quiet whisper.
For me, it is often the wind of my selfish pride, the earthquake of my failed plans and near breakdowns, and the fire of my uncontrollable circumstances that is required to get me into a position of stillness before the Lord. It is often what is required to knock me off my rocker of schemes and independence. Elijah was under great pressure. His very life was in danger. He was at the end of his resources. He really hoped for an end to everything.
But God, in His grace, intervened. Tim Keller explains that God’s intervention was multi-level. Elijah’s needs were complex. God’s first interventions included food and listening. How practical and helpful. How loving. How healing…
Elijah’s story reminds me how much I need God’s intervention. His restoration. His comfort. His way of settling my spirit down. His way of breathing new energy into my soul. His way of letting my faith revive. His way of leading me back to His Word. His way of nudging me back to attention on His mountain.
I fight it often. God knows.
But, God has still given me ears to hear His still small voice.
Psalm 146:8-9 “The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but He frustrates the ways of the wicked.”