Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Reading: 1st Kings 19:7-15a

Verse 9: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

As we continue today in 1st Kings 19 Elijah is once again provided for. After a second round of sustenance Elijah is able to journey to Horeb, the mountain of God. As he arises that next day God asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah tells God that he has been “zealous” for God even though the people have abandoned God. And now they want to kill him.

God instructs Elijah to go and stand at the entrance to the cave. First comes a mighty wind – so strong that it breaks rocks. Then comes an earthquake followed by a fire. And then comes a sheer silence. God wasn’t in the mighty and powerful. God is in the silence. Elijah wraps his face in his mantle and steps forward.

I often want God to come in the big and flashy ways. It evokes a feeling of a big God that can do anything. At the entrance to the cave the still, small voice of God again asks, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah doesn’t get what God is asking. He answers the same way again, from a place of fear and doubt.

God is really asking Elijah why he is on this mountain, hiding out in a cave. God has just shown up in a big and really flashy way as the prophets of Baal were defeated. Yet how soon thereafter comes the fear and doubt. Elijah is concerned with earthly consequences. I too can fall into this trap – worrying more about my earthly relationships or the possible cost of walking God’s path. From this place of fear and doubt I too can run and hide, thinking I’ll be okay there.

Even though God doesn’t get through to Elijah, God doesn’t give up. Elijah is sent to the wilderness of Damascus. There he will anoint Elisha as the next prophet of God. Elijah still has some work to do. God understands Elijah’s fears… yet will use him anyway. The ways of God are always greater than our limits. God is saying to Elijah and to us, through the fear and doubt, “Trust me.” Just trust me. May it be so.

Prayer: Lord God, even when fear or doubt creeps up in me, your still, small voice guides me on. You call me to trust in you even when I don’t see the way. Thank you for your steadfast and true ways. Amen.

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