It is a gray Monday and my mood matches the view outside the kitchen window.
While there were some good things that happened this weekend, the lives of several dear friends were impacted with deaths. Most were the kind that rock you because, in our eyes, they happened way too soon in the span of that life.
Then there were the walks for cancer in Decatur and Crohns/Colitis in Peoria.
And there are burdens on my heart for some people I love so much.
So when my reading falls in 1 Kings 18 and 19, by the time Elijah is camped out in a cave both physically and spiritually, I am definitely tuned in. My heart resonates with his mood and I am like, I know just how you feel Elijah. Move over, buddy. I think I am just going to hunker down with you in this cave for a while.
Because I can relate with his view that all the zeal for the Lord in the world is not going to overcome the tide of evil that is sucking up every good thing God has done in these precious lives, my ears perk up to the fact that God seeks Elijah out and sends a Word to him.
Yes! I can use a Word from the Lord today.
And while I know this story from previous readings, I hear afresh the Word of the Lord to Elijah….and He says….
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
And I hear it to me, “What are you doing here, Laura?”
And I wonder. Where is the emphasis on the words?
So I try it like….
WHAT are you doing here……
What are YOU doing here…..
but I think He is asking….
WHAT are you doing HERE, Laura?
As in, why are you hiding out in the back of a cave? And just cowering. What is going on and why are you in this place? And I think I need to examine the position I have chosen to take this morning. Because if God is asking what is going on with where I am and what I am doing, maybe I need to reevaluate!!!!
So I read on, and I wrap a cloak around my head and wait with Elijah for the Lord to pass by…and I brace myself through the wind, and the earthquake and the fire….and I listen for the still small voice….and when He asks me again….
WHAT are you doing HERE, Laura?….
I kind of answer like Elijah….well, Lord, I’m weary and tired. I have prayed the circles….and lifted the hands….and released….and pressed in….and trusted…and stood in the gap….and kneeled in the gap….and wept in the gap…..and waged war in the spirit….and fasted…and prayed…and spoke the words You laid on my heart….and held back the ones You didn’t….and repented the ones that weren’t from You but I said anyway…..and right now, to be honest, the whole scene is looking kind of bleak.
And I read His response to Elijah.
Go back through the Wilderness. I have prepared reinforcements. You are not alone. I am God. I am in control. I am Sovereign.
So I head back, too.
One more trip through the Wilderness. One more session bent in prayer. One more round in the battle.
Because I serve a God that is Mighty and yet comes to me in my weakness and asks me what I am doing hiding out when there is work to be done.