Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Out of the Cave

            "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my
            fathers!" (1 Kings 19:4).
      This is a favorite chapter of mine because it gives us a glimpse of
      someone as human as we are. Here we have the great Elijah, sinking from
      triumph to despair. He is just as subject to human emotions as we are. Who
      of us has not said, "I have had enough of this!" But God doesn't answer
      Elijah’s prayer; instead, He sends an angel, not once but twice, to Elijah
      to feed him. When Elijah is strong again, he travels on to Horeb, and what
      does he do -- he hides in a cave!

      God isn't going to let him get away with that, either. "What are you doing
      here, Elijah, so far away from your duties? What are you doing here,
      Elijah, you of all my people who should have remained at your post? My
      past compassions to you should have strengthened and served you especially
      for a time such as this."

      We need to know that God understands when we cry out in exhaustion and
      heartache and despair. Just as He brought Elijah out of the cave, He will
      bring us out of the darkness of whatever cave we are in now into His light
      once again (Psalm 18:28). Elijah thought his labor was useless; that it
      had come to nothing. Those with the highest and holiest purposes are the
      very ones who experience such intense dejection and rejection. Elijah's
      heart withered at the thought that he had failed. So it is with us all who
      feel we have failed God, family and church because of mistakes and our
      humanity. But this chapter tells us that God isn’t going to let us get
      away with self-pity. We are all subject to depression but there is an
      angel to help us out of our cave, if we will believe it.

      God commands us to "be strong and of good courage" (Joshua 1:6). An
      anonymous saint said, "So, in the Lord's ministry, the nucleus of the
      Church was not found in the applauding multitudes on Olivet, but in the
      few faithful ones in the garden of Gethsemane." What a thought! When we
      feel we have had enough, let us be the faithful one in Gethsemane,
      kneeling with Jesus who set His face toward Jerusalem, realizing what He
      was about to endure (Luke 9:51b).

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