I am going to be honest and just share my feelings for a moment…
Has anyone ever felt like you are doing the will of God or stepping out in faith and nothing is the way it is supposed to be. I mean, here you are serving, giving all you have or you took that leap of faith and jumped right out of that boat and now you are standing there thinking what in the world just happened? How will God ever be glorified in this mess?
Well, I am.
I am standing before God and all the 3 people who will read this and questioning, “Why am I doing this?” Today has been a bad day. I have stood in my living room and cried out to God, “WHY!” I have prayed, “I know you love me God, I know you want good for me, I know what you are commanding me today is not too difficult or beyond my reach. I know Your Truths. But my heart is just not buying it at this moment…not today Lord!
And so I refused to even look in my Bible, and as I drove to pick up the kids from school, I was listening to the radio and this song came on, Even if by MercyMe. The words began to penetrate my soul.
They say it only takes a little faith
to move a mountain
well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
to leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
You’ve been faithful, you’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can
It is well with my soul.
I asked for forgiveness and found myself here, with my face covered, reading His Word, feeling unworthy to hear His voice. I read 1 Kings 17:8-24:
And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent; neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
This widow is obedient and taking care of her family and Elijah the prophet with just enough flour and oil for that meal. She has seen miracles by her obedience and serving Elijah with all she had left. Day in and day out they are provided for during a famine. Then one day the widow’s son who owns the house becomes ill and the widow begins to questions Elijah. She said, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” The widow calls Elijah out, I like this, I just did the same thing today. I have been obedient and life still happens, and then I begin to question God. This is something that I have had a hard time understanding, why must I struggle if I am serving God? I’m sure that the woman thought so as well. She’s thinking we are surviving the famine and drought, and I’m trusting God, how can my son die? But God is showing me, I cannot camp out on this one provision. I know we are to suffer but God not like this, right?!
I believe this is where a lot of Christians get tangled up; they believe I have given my life to God only to have this happen and so they throw it all away because it didn’t turn out like it was supposed to. I need to depend upon him when new trials come, and remember how He brought me through before.
Deuteronomy 7:8-9 says,
But because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt. “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving-kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments…
God is faithful and He does not break His promises. If God has called me then He will complete it. Elijah takes the son from the widow and takes him to God; he calls out to God on the widow’s behalf. God hears him and answers his prayer and the son is brought back to life. Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know you are the man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.” You see, God wanted more from the woman; He not only wanted her to believe in Him, but he wanted her to know Him. How beautiful that the God of the Universe would not only want me to believe He is God but He wants me to know Him.
The widow was free to share her hurts with Elijah. I am free to share my hurts with God. And by doing so, it allowed her & me to grow closer to Him. It’s not that it’s a big secret, God knows all things. He knows her heart; my heart. So why not be honest with Him?
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Casting: a verb, meaning to throw (something) forcefully in a specified direction.
When I read this, I laughed, because today I would say I forcefully casted my anxieties at the Lord while having my pity party. He gently requested I wait.
Could it be that the reason we are depressed and defeated is because we are over here having a pity party and have forgotten what God has done?
Even Elijah has his moment. Elijah goes from predicting a drought, being fed by ravens, raising a son from the dead, to defeating 400 prophets to hiding out in cave. How? I look at him and think, “How could you forget?” It is so easy to look at someone and question their behavior, all the while, acting in the same manner. Mine just doesn’t look like theirs.
The prophet Elijah experienced this same pity party as I had today after a great victory when he defeated the 400 prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain. He killed them all. Then King Ahab’s wife Jezebel got word out that she was going to kill him in retaliation. So Elijah ran and hid because he was afraid. He lay down and told the Lord he had enough and to take his life.
God filled Elijah by physically feeding him and allowing him to rest. Then once he was physically restored, God calls out to him, “what are you doing here, Elijah?”
There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”
By isolating himself, Elijah became discouraged. He began to think he was the only one left who was faithful to God. He started to feel sorry for himself. I have done this many times; I have had great victories in my life and ministries, only to allow a word or deed from the enemy to consume me. I begin to think I’m the only one who is faithful and lose sight of what God is doing. I make it all about me and not about Him.
God showed Elijah that he was not alone and that while you might not see other Christians working they are present. And pity-parties only cause you to stand still and miss opportunities.
Once Elijah’s spirit was calm, and his strength was renewed, now God calls out to him again.
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an 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 the sound of a low whisper.
Elijah doesn’t hear God in the midst of the storms but it is when his spirit is calm, he hears the whisper. The next verse says, “When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak, and went out to meet God. God tells him, “Go, return…”
God encouraged him to go complete the task he had given and to go back the way he came. Sometimes in life to overcome, we have to go back the way we came and remember.
In Psalm 42, vs 6 it says my soul is downcast within me, therefore I will remember you.
I have to remember who God is and from where He has brought me. My mind says who cares? God is not here. But my heart says, look at what God has done, remember His goodness in my life. Know He is. Even if nothing changes, He is still God and He loves me and is with me always.
Right now, God is calling out to me, “What are you doing here, Amy?”
In the midst of the noise in my head and in my emotions, God is whispering, “lean in” and “remember”. I will restore and redeem you. I AM God. Trust ME.
Once I remember, I am thankful for what God has done, and that thankfulness leads to praise. I praise the One who makes it possible and that praise leads to worship. I worship God for who He is. This worship becomes love. Love… it makes all things new.
Blessed be the Lord, Because He has heard the voice of my supplications! The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:6-7