Wednesday, November 18, 2009

After the Peak

There's a pattern that shows up in Elijah's life. He stands up to the reigning powers and authorities, only to find that immediately afterwards he is thrown down into the pit of despair. What a reward! All that effort and all that bravery, only to find himself struggling with a purpose for living?

"I have had enough, Lord. Take my life, I'm no better than my ancestors."

The same thing happens to us. We work up our courage, we fight off our fears, we make a huge step out on faith and things look perfect - for about a minute and a half. Then, we find ourselves doubting everything. Why did I do all that work? Why so much effort? Why did I risk this - if this my reward is feeling worse than before?

Look at the story again (1 Kings 19:1-9). What do you notice about Elijah? Okay, you notice a lot of things - but pay attention to this one - he's all alone. He leaves people behind, heads out into the wilderness and hides. He isolates himself, he's alone with his feelings - those feelings of doubt and inadequacy and worthlessness. No wonder he's a mess.

Look ahead and see what God does next. 1) He consoles Elijah. 2) He gets Elijah a partner.

Whether you're a powerful prophet or an average Joe, you need people. They catch us when we start to fall into despair, they build us up when it is time to act. They provide the balance and cushion that we need to get by day to day. God doesn't lead us out into the wilderness and hide us in rocks anymore. He talks to us through his servants - those people in our lives we chose to live and grow with.

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