The prophet Elijah knew a thing or two about allowing his circumstances to cloud his sight of God. In 1 Kings 19:3-15, Elijah embarked on an unplanned journey; he was on the run for his life –scared, exhausted, and in despair. He had left all he knew behind and felt alone, and abandoned by God. But God was always near – Elijah simply could not see or sense Him because all his attention was tuned to his turmoil.
Instead, he begged for death but God sent His angel to feed, sustain, and watch over Elijah to strengthen him for the journey ahead. When Elijah was stronger, God finally spoke to him and told him to come out of the cave he was in and stand on the mountain in His Presence.
God did not want him cowering in his circumstances. He wanted Elijah to focus on Him and stand before Him in stillness.
It was in that sound of silence that God spoke. When Elijah finally turned his attention back to hearing God, he overcame his fear of man and loneliness. God became Elijah’s peace and strength for the task ahead. Even through his frailties and wavering faith, God still commissioned Elijah and continued to use him mightily.
How often do we cower in the cave of our circumstance just like Elijah did instead of standing in God’s Presence and waiting on His Word?
How often do we turn our attention away from the only one who can give us the peace we need and instead, remain restless and overwhelmed by our situation?
Too often we ourselves put a barricade to keep God away because we are too distracted by our circumstances. We rely on man-made solutions and refuge, just like Elijah and his cave.
We wander around in circles, just like Elijah did for 40 days and nights, staying in the desert longer than necessary.
We pout and vent to God about how bad our situation is, just like Elijah did when God asked him “why are you here?”
It is only when we finally silence ourselves and yield to God’s Presence that we can experience God’s peace. It is when we stand in His Presence that we will hear His Word for our situation.
God wants us to realize that He alone is our refuge and He will use any means to teach us that we need His Presence before we can pursue our plans.
And just like He did with Elijah, God will pour out His grace over us in abundance, even when we are out of fellowship with Him and choose to walk our way instead of waiting for His.
Ultimately, God will work on our behalf to lead us back to intimacy with Himself and His Word, just like He did with Elijah.
But wouldn’t it be so much easier if we just relied on Him all the way?
What are you facing today that you should entrust to God instead of relying on your own strength or plan?
What can you do to stop hiding behind your circumstances and instead step out and rest in God’s Presence?
Help me to surrender. Help to step out of the cave where I have been hiding – instead teach me to hiding in the strength of your love and presence. You alone are my refuge and you alone can guide me – even through this. I give you all that is a burden in my heart and I will rest in you and you alone. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.