I praise the Lord that God does not show us a superficial pictures of the lives of His servants in the Bible. Very often, when people feel weak or tired, they try to attract the attention of others as if someone could really help them. My brother, my sister, let’s look and take note of the way God responded to Elijah when he was tired of living.
Yes, Elijah was physically and spiritually tired. He just wanted God who gives life to allow him to die. The beauty of our loving God is that He does not rebuke Elijah. Instead He ministers to him. Before we even go further: won’t many of us run away from anyone who wants to minister to us instead of crying with us when we have had enough? Are we not more inclined to follow those who share our feelings in difficult times than listening to those who are trying to tell us to have faith because things will get better one day soon? Now, let’s look at how God, our Father, reacted with a depressed Elijah:
The Lord did not write him off but He reaffirmed Elijah’s calling by asking him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (verses 9 and 13). In other words, the Lord was asking Elijah, ‘do you not know who you are to me to be in the position you are right now?’ My friend, let’s recall that we are talking about the Elijah who was able to stop the rain… (1 Kings 17)… and this man is now hiding under a bush because he is afraid. No wonder God is not interested in how he feels. Yes, our feelings can lead us to a position God does not see us in, therefore He will not cry with us or move in the direction we would like him to. He will speak to us tenderly and tell us to move forward as He did with Elijah: To Elijah’s “I have had enough” (verse 4), God only answers “Get up and eat” (verse 5); “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you”(verse 7). Let’s look at this closely. Is the Lord really a God of compassion? Has He not understood that Elijah is afraid (verse 3) and needs a little break? My friend, this is where many believers are stuck in their walk with Christ: they misunderstand what the compassion of God is all about because they have tainted it with human sensations and feelings.
You see, God could have rebuked Elijah or even given his ministry to someone else. Yet, despite Elijah trying to stress on how he felt, God responded with a new assignment as if He did not even hear what Elijah was saying: “‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.’ 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram” (verses 14-17). Why? Because God knows what He has given us already: not a spirit of fear but a spirit of courage… So, why do you want Him to stop and listen to the things He has been telling you not to do? How many times does He say ‘do not worry… do not be afraid’ in the Bible? He has set out everything to demonstrate that He cares for us, He protects us, He loves us and His tenderness to us is real when we find ourselves locked in the prison of confusion or doubts. But we still want to bring things back to our limited vision of life. That’s why we sometimes suffer more and longer than necessary.
My friend, the Lord will not necessarily get us out of doubt, confusion and tears immediately. But he will continue to tell us the same thing as His Word does not change. Why? Because He keeps telling us what should stir more faith in Him: “be content with what you have… “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5) and He dispenses grace in sufficient measure for our needs in the situation we find ourselves in: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Indeed, the Lord stands by us and enables us to go on for His glory (1 Corinthians 15:57) and He speaks peace to our troubled hearts (John 14:27). But do we hear Him? Do we listen to Him? Elijah did and he stood up and moved forward…. Are you still standing in a position where God is asking you: “What are you doing here, my son/my daughter?”
My friend, no matter the situation or circumstances that want to discourage you, today, know that the Lord is dealing with it in His time and in His way… but where are you positioned? Instead of lamenting on yourself, reposition yourself by thanking Him for His patience, love, mercy and grace while waiting to see things change visibly. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.