By Marvie C. Paraiso
Read 1 Kings 19:1-18
Have you felt under lots of pressure because of responsibilities that you find overwhelming?
Have you been worried about an outcome of a situation over which you do not have much or any control?
Have you gone through a period of uncertainty because of some changes in your life?
Have you ever felt distant from God?
If your answer is “yes,” then you are not alone—I do too. Even Elijah, a man of God and a respected prophet, had faced difficulties and had struggled in his relationship with God, like you and me.
Elijah had just won a mighty battle on the mountain where his prayers called down fire and showed Israel that the Lord is God (see 1 Kings 18), but a death threat from Queen Jezebel made his win a defeat as he retreated to the wilderness—exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Imagine for a moment what was going through Elijah’s mind when he was running away from his enemy. Imagine the anxiety and fear he must have felt! I bet he was expecting God to do miraculous things like what he had experienced before. But God did not meet his expectation; He exceeded them.
Here are four points we can learn from Elijah’s story:
- Begin with God.
Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” 1 KINGS 19:4
You can tell God anything and everything! Even the ones you are ashamed of admitting to yourself and to Him. He knows already, but He still prefers to hear you talk to Him about them because He cares deeply for you. Just like a father to his child, God wants to hear your voice and talk about anything under the sun. The question is, is God your first option or your last resort?
2. Begin with God’s provision.
5Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 1 KINGS 19:4-5
God wants to take care of you personally and physically. As much as He cares about your spiritual well-being, He also cares for your physical and mental health. Rest in God. Trust that He will provide for you and your family, that He will renew your strength, and that He will give you peace and rest as you walk with Him. Are you willing to trust God with your life?
3. Begin with God’s power.
11“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
1 KINGS 19:11-12
God’s answer to Elijah’s concerns is His very presence. His very presence! You may be expecting grand or miraculous acts as answered prayer from the Lord, but He uniquely responds according to your needs at exactly the right time. And is it not a gentle whisper implies nearness? This means when you are so desperate, shaken, or heartbroken, God is closer than ever! The question is when God is speaking, are you listening? Is His presence enough for you?
4. Begin with God’s purposes.
15Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. 17Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” 1 KINGS 19:15-18
God is with you. You are never alone in your battle. He has surrounded you with people whom He knows will help you grow, teach you new things, correct you, and lead you to become closer to Him. They may be your family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, or just someone you meet along the way. The point is, whatever you face in life, remember that God is already before, beside, and behind you; you just have to trust and obey.
It just goes to show that it really is okay not to be okay because God is more than willing to meet you and me where we are, help us get back on our feet, and renew our strength for the purposes that He has called us for. We can truly rest in God because He is able and faithful to His promises. 😊
Holy Bible, New Living Translation by Tyndale House Foundation
RESTART 2022 – Pr. Che Sucgang-De Sagun
Marvie C. Paraiso, Human Resources and Administration. Marvie can usually be found looking at the skies with earphones in her ears and wandering off in her wonderland. She loves stories that tinker with her curious mind and make her belly chuckle. She enjoys the sound of music, raindrops, and laughter and the thrill of adventures and the sceneries of a long tiring trip—actually, she relishes it more than the journey’s end.