There are mornings I would rather stay in the safe and warm comfort of my bed. From my cozy little nest, I can hide from the disappointments and failed expectations that rise too high. I want to hide from the storm in my world … and the storm blowing in my mind.
The Old Testament prophet Elijah saw the power and glory of God displayed before the Jewish nation on Mount Carmel. He knew beyond all doubt that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was not only living, but was his God! Yet as you read his story in First Kings 18 and 19, you find that he was taken low to the point of despair by one little word (1 Kings 19:1-2).
Elijah’s self-pity became so overwhelming that he ran into the wilderness, rolled himself under a bush, and there prayed, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life!” (1 Kings 19:4). We despair when we forget the God who never leaves us nor forsakes us and rather pay attention to the stormy circumstances.
After 40 days, Elijah was led by God to a cave in the land of Horeb and there God demanded an answer. What are you doing here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:9). God knew why Elijah was there … why he had fallen into fear and despair.
There, in the mouth of the cave, God revealed His great power and glory again. The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces … but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind and earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.
The God who had answered by fire on Mount Carmel had not changed; Elijah had changed. He’d forgotten to keep his eyes on God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God (Psalm 43:5).