I’ve been involved in writing a research paper–so I thought I would take a moment this evening to write about something else…. This morning my sister and I had a passing conversation about the prophet Elijah. I can’t remember where it came from, but that doesn’t really matter. We didn’t talk about his great miracles or his great perseverence and faith. We talked about the hope that God gave him that time that he ran away for a little while down to Mout Horeb. Jezebel was planning to kill him and he was overcome for the moment with the overwhelming iniquities and spiritual weakness of Israel. So he set out to seek what the Lord would tell him. (Reminds me of Habbakuk–after the confusion of questioning what God said He would do, the prophet said, “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.”)
After forty days without food, Elijah arrived at the mountain of God. God knew his discouragement–but He neither pandered to it nor condemned him. God simply asked him what he was doing there. Elijah gave his reason, “I have been faithful to you. But your people have not. And now they want to kill me and I am that last one left.” Then God sent an awesome display of the natural powers. (Reminds me of Job–how God came in a whirlwind and confronted the suffering, bitter man with His greatness.) He then asked the prophet the same question He had asked before and Elijah answered the exact same thing again.
And what did God say to him? “Go back.” But He didn’t leave it there. He told the tired prophet to return to where his duty lay, but in doing so, He also gave him hope. God commissioned Elijah to both anoint one to be king as well as one to follow him and take his place as a prominent man of God. Finally, God told him that he yet had seven thousand faithful ones in Israel. God did not condone Elijah’s weary self-pity–but He did not leave his answer there. Instead, He gave him reason for hope to return to his soul.
Sometimes we get weary and tired, too–though surely none of us are as alone as Elijah was! When people I know feel like they are the only ones left, it drags on others, including myself. It is good for us all to remember that God is God and that He has a plan that shall assuredly be accomplished. Thus, there is reason to hope and remain optimistic, even when we are weary. Then shall our Father be glorified in us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.”