My twelve year old grandson Kaden and I were chatting in the car the other day. Somehow the subject came up about those in the Bible who never died. And of course, I volunteered Elijah, and Kaden immediately remembered his chariot of fire.
[As an aside, you have to know that Kaden has almost a photographic mind as far as what he reads. And he's fast and voracious, content-wise. He knows and remembers more details of Bible stories than I ever could.]
I said, "I love Elijah." To which Kaden responded, "I love Elijah too."
The conversation kept on going with Enoch coming up next. And I'm not sure where it all went after that. Other people/kids were in the car so it may have gone to Fortnight or StarTrek or who knows what else.
But it got me thinking again about Elijah and what it is about him that I love.
[By the way, guess where I just happen to be this week in my chronological Bible reading ... you guessed it, Elijah in 1 Kings. And you know what? I'm behind in my reading, playing catch up because of our daughter and kiddos visiting the past three weeks. God's timing again! Be sure to see my last post Numbness in My Soul.]
Of course, I love Elijah's sensitivity and surrender to the Lord and his courage and the amazing power of God working through him. I so admire how he heard the Lord and immediately obeyed Him. He moved with the Spirit of God. And how could I not love the vehicle God gave to take him home -- his chariot of fire!
Most of all, I love how real Elijah was with his emotions ... how he falls apart after that big display of God's glory and power over Baal and his prophets.
... how he's afraid and running for his life at Jezebl's threats even after God's mighty working;
... and how depleted and numb and wanting to die he was after it was all over;
Elijah even indulged in self-pity, thinking he was the only one who knew and loved the Lord and served Him with a sincere heart.
Can you identify? Man, can I ever! And I take such encouragement from how God responds to Elijah. It is in those very times and emotions that Elijah meets GOD and His provision ... and so he is able to recover and move on.
This reminds me of the first time I met God in this passage. It was the end of a school year. I had been teaching preschool 3 mornings a week, homeschool coordinating for a large number of families, and teaching a precept Bible study in the book of Hebrews. Somehow the Lord drew me to the story of Elijah, and I was struck with how like him I was at that point. Totally depleted! And in that blank-numb state, I heard God say to my soul, "Food and rest; food and rest, just like Elijah under the juniper tree." So that's what I did ... I ate and slept. I ate and I rested. And I recovered and moved on!
And so can you!
Are you under your own "juniper tree"?
I get you, dear friend ... and so does your God. He is the juniper tree God as well as the chariots of fire God. He is the still, small Voice as well as the Voice that speaks with fire and rain . He Himself is your Provision in your wilderness, in your over the edge times. Be real with your emotions and your hard situation then watch Him act. Trust Him ... like our friend Elijah.