Oh friends in Christ, it has been a long time since I was able to sit down and share with you what the Lord has been teaching me and doing in my life. I assure you that doesn’t mean that his teachings have been absent or his presence weak in my life. Quite the opposite! Our life has been as full and hectic this summer at his has been rich and sweet with lessons of faith and endurance to trust in the God who scripts every turn and bump in this messy-beautiful life he’s blessed us with!
At times, it’s felt like too much to bear, and I’ve wondered where he hand was in it all. Then my attention was brought to 1 Kings 19: 3-4 where Elijah, a man of great, strong faith and accomplishment coming off a high at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18) laid down under a broom tree (which is nothing more than a bush really) and prayed for death. His enemies, the attacks, the hardship, it had become too much for him and his faith was rocked. Not rocked a little, but rocked to the core, to the point of depression. He had given up! He couldn’t see the way out, or the scenario where God might actually be working behind the scenes.
If a man of faith like Elijah can get to that point, it can ease our feelings of weakness when we too have a moment of wanting to give up. Keeping the faith might be too hard, choosing to trust God is working a perfect plan if what feels quite the opposite is perfect is exhausting really. Friends, it’s so hard to do! We can remember that God sees so much of the picture that we’re only getting a minor glimpse of, but it doesn’t often usher our emotions to a place of peace like we wish it would. Sometimes we don’t feel reassured by the truth that God is at work, because even though we know in our minds that he is, and believe that he is, we just may not feel that he actually is.
God doesn’t leave Elijah at the broom tree, sleeping in a state of depression unable to carry on. He comes to his aide with provision for his strength and endurance. He talks to Elijah, asking him why he has gotten to this point, and the carry on in Elijah’s journey, even if his stumble into his depression altered God’s plan slightly, it did not shift him off course. God is bigger than that! He’s bigger than that for Elijah and he’s bigger than that for us!
I have been lucky to have hung on tight to Christ as I’ve stumbled into and over hardship over the course of this summer and remember that while we are frustrated over Option A, B and C in our lives, Jesus is looking at the whole alphabet. He knows the answer the puzzle we can’t seem to solve! I can’t help but imagine us just like this daughter of mine looking at rubix cube, no idea that it is actually a complex puzzle with a solution. Like her, we’re apt to just throw the whole thing at the wall in confusion.
I’m so thankful that while we are tossing things at the wall, he can slow us down and choose to remind us of his goodness, his bigger picture. When we declare the truth of his provision over us in times where we are disheartened, he eventually helps our emotions come around to feel his goodness; to feel the truth of who our savior is and the ways he cares for us and stays with us.
He is with you today friend, no matter what the hard looks like in your life. He’s right by your side, whether you choose to acknowledge him or not, whether you are reaching out to him or not, and whether you feel him there or not. If you are reading this and you just aren’t sure if that’s true. Well, then I dare you to ask him.
Journey on my sweet friends, and keep searching for that fresh lens of truth. He is faithful to provide it!