I attend the weekly bible study that the pastor of my church leads for us. Currently we are reading through 1 Kings. We talked about the prophet Elijah today and it got me thinking. Elijah was human and had a human moment during his work for God. There is a lot we can learn from this one moment and the prayers that followed it. I just had to write about it. So, here it goes.
Look at 1 Kings 18 -19
Let me set the stage. Elijah is doing all of these great things for God. Feeding a widow, saving her son, bring her to believe in God. And after being on the run from Ahab and Jezebel for 3 years, he shows up and challenges the prophets of Baal and Asherah. It’s an epic duel of God against gods. The prophets of the false god and goddess are spending a whole day acting silly and stupid in front of the people of the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah is yelling to them to keep going, keep trying, prove to him that their gods are the true gods the all powerful. Then they finally give up. I can only imagine the smug look on this guy’s face. The prepares his own bull, uses 12 stones, green wood and water, a lot of water, to make sure this offering WILL NOT burn, that no tricks can be had in this offering. Then he kneels, I’m imagininging again, and he prays, “…let it be known that you ARE god in Israel and that I AM Your servant…” and the fire consumes everything! Even the stones. What a magnificent sight that would be!
So, Elijah proves that he is the prophet of the one and true God. The people of Israel are amazed and believe. Then, Elijah says, death to all the false prophets. I can only imagine he did not need to ask for volunteers to help with big job of 850 priests. But Jezebel grew angry with Elijah, and this my friends is where his human moment begins. Jezebel wants Elijah dead, and not just dead, but a painful, excruciating, suffering death. So, what does Elijah do?
Instead of trusting in God’s protection after all of the miracles God has performed in just that very day, for example. He gets scared and he runs. He runs into the forest of Horeb.
Is there a time in your life where, despite all of the evidence you will be protected, you get scared and run? I’ll admit that I do that. My best example is when my uncle passed away. He helped my mom raise me, and was pretty much my father growing up. He had been sick and we all knew it was coming, but it was still an extreme shock. I wasn’t ready to face a life without him. I wasn’t ready to face the path that was now in front of me. But I didn’t have a choice and instead of trusting in God’s plan, I ran. I ran from my husband of two months emotionally. I prayed, but it was mostly, “Why did and how could you do this to me?”
This is the same question that Elijah asks in the forest after he was faced with his mortality. He prayed, “Lord, I have been your servant for so many years, I have done everything you have asked. I showed the people You are God. And now THEY WANT TO DO THIS TO ME?! and where were you when they decided these things?” That’s basically the summarization, and he does this even on the mountain that God sends him to. God’s answer? “Buck up, go anoint this other guy, and teach Elisha how to do your job, and you will be okay.”
This is the same answer we get, “Buck up. Deal with it. I AM here to help you.” But it’s hard to lean on someone else when your emotions and mind are all a tangled mess. There is hope, even in these times. God is there and He’s comforting you. He is the soft whisper to you that He was to Elijah. Eventually, you heal and you move on with what God has planned. Then you are rewarded, maybe not with fiery chariot that Elijah got, but Heaven and Jesus and seeing, feeling, knowing God. Those are the rewards.
It is okay to have your human moment. Jesus had them! When he was in the garden on the night he was betrayed praying, JESUS asked God to be delivered from this burden. He would do it, but he didn’t want to. Our human moments is what strengthens our life with God. Our human moments are what endears us to God. Because through everything, we choose Him. That is what human moments are about. Choosing God and the path that He set forth for us.