1 Kings 19
I love Elijah’s response after having defeated all the prophets of Baal and of Asherah. It reminds me of how I react after God has done something amazing and then I’m confronted by a daunting challenge. Instead of recalling the amazing thing that God just did, and trusting that this new challenge is not too big for him, I often run away, curl up under a (metaphorical) bush, and whine about my circumstances.
Does that ever happen to you? You’ve just been to the mountaintop – on a mission trip, retreat, had revival, or some other experience where you saw God do something that left you in awe. Then you’re confronted with a big problem – your car breaks down, your house floods, or you suffer a terrible loss. Suddenly, all the amazing things you saw God do feel a million miles away and this problem looms over you like a giant statue of Baal. An idol. Not one you are worshipping, but one you are giving undue credit to nonetheless. You crane your neck to look up at this monolith that seems impenetrable, immovable, unscalable. You say things like, “I’m the only one left,” when you know very well that God has preserved a remnant. And even more, that God HIMSELF has said He would never leave you or forsake you.
Maybe it’s just me. I love that God asks Elijah twice, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Elijah repeats his mournful tale verbatim. I can almost hear a little angst creeping into his voice: “Weren’t you listening, God? I just told you: ‘I am the only one left! And now they are trying to kill me, too!’” Of course God was listening. He listens to me, too, even when I whine a little and repeat myself. Even when my eyes get locked on the idol the enemy puts before me instead of on the God who defeats every false god in our lives. And, yes, He not only listens but He speaks. And in my very best, most lucid moments, I listen.