The urge to run is so tempting, isn’t it?
We get fed up. We think about all the reasons why throwing up our hands and and simply giving into the temptation to go away somewhere to bury our feet - and our heads - in the sand seems warm and inviting.
Elijah had such an experience. He was discouraged, fearful, and weary after giving his all to everything God had for him to do. Instead of a beautiful beach, Elijah’s fleeing took him under a broom tree and then to a cave. There, he told the Lord to take his life, wanting only to lay down and not wake up again.
After all the miracles that God had used Elijah to perform, from bringing life back to the dead to calling down fire in front of the prophets of Baal, he was dejected and alone. He was running, not to God, but away from Him.
Thankfully, God kept His eye on him. No matter how far he would roam, Elijah could not outrun God.
We think we can though, don’t we? When it all gets too much, when we are battered by storms or discouraged, the thought of just lying down under a tree and getting off the grid sounds so appealing. Add a fancy drink with a little umbrella, and certainly everything would look a whole lot better. Right?
Such escapes only lead us so far. At some point, we have to sit up, wipe our eyes, shake the dirt out of our sandals, and make a decision. Are we going to stay there, disengaged and the only attendee at our party of pity, or are we going to stand up and face the music?
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
God was trying to say to him, haven’t I shown you My power? Haven’t you seen what I can do? Haven’t you called upon Me and watched Me answer your prayers like rain drenching the earth? You should know better.
We should know better too.
Where is your broom tree? Is it at the mall? Is it in going out, seeking friends in places where you know that God is not a patron of? Is it filling your senses with false idols, caring more how you look to others on social media than how you are to those closest to you? What are you hiding under?
I have lived long enough to know that hiding, though compelling at times, only deepens our sadness, our dejection, even more. We think we can assume a new persona, a new set of friends, a new swag of some sort that will mask our fears and find an acceptance that will assuage our deepest longings. The world is full of false prophets.
God is always going to call to us, “What are you doing here?”
He wants for us to get real. He wants for us to remember all the times He has answered our needs, our prayers; all the times he has protected us in our hurts. He understands why we run when the going gets a little tough. But He wants to show us that He is in control.
In the whisper of the wind, He is telling us something. He is telling us to stand. His power is within us, not out there in the world. He wants us to trust Him.
Sometimes, I too want to crawl up into a ball and give up. I too know the feeling of being alone. But you’re not. We are never, ever alone despite how hard things are.
He is calling you to get up, to wash your face, and know that He is in the fight with you.
Whatever you are facing is not too big for God.
He’s whispering to you now. Can you hear it? “I’ve got this.”