We all know the story of Elijah praying fire down from heaven to settle once and for all who the God of Israel was. The fire consumed the sacrifice, the stones and the water in the trench. All around Elijah the people fell on the ground and cried, "The LORD, He is God, The LORD, He is God..."
King Ahab told Queen Jezebel what had happened to her prophets of Baal and Elijah ran for his life and went into hiding. In 1 Kings 18 and 19 the story is told. Should Elijah have run? Most have been hard on this man. I do not believe he should have run but in that context, he had just gotten back from the 3 1/2 years of drought where God told him to hide by a brook. The ravens fed him and he drank from the brook. I think he should have stayed and confronted Jezebel, but I have never gone through even 1/100 of 1% what this man went through. Elijah was, after all, a human being like us, although greatly used of God.
What blessed me while reading this story over and over again is that although Elijah was discouraged, tired, and in hiding, God sent an angel to guard him while he slept. The angel cooked a meal for Elijah and awoke him and told him to eat. Elijah ate and went back to sleep. Once again, the angel cooked another meal for Elijah and awakened him again telling him to eat. Saying the journey ahead would be difficult and he needed the energy.
How does this apply to me? I often feel that I missed my calling in life; if I don't think so the enemy reminds me! At times I've been " on the run..." from the purposes of God. Even in these circumstances, we like Elijah, tired, discouraged and afraid, God sends angels and His Spirit to feed, guard and comfort us with spiritual food to continue our journey just a little while longer.
The tender mercies of God are beyond comprehension. They are renewed every day. He cares for us even when we are on the run and in hiding when the journey gets difficult or discouraging. Like the angel that was following Elijah, He patiently watches over our every move and is standing by to give strength for the journey ahead and encouragement for the disappointments that await us.
God asks Elijah twice, "What are you doing here?" He sent an earthquake, a fire and a mighty wind but spoke in a still, calm voice; "why are you here?" Not a voice of condemnation, not a loud roar, but gently asking the tired prophet what was going on...
God, in His gentle mercies desires one thing of us, that we be conformed into the image of His Son. We do not have great ministries, thousands of followers, television or radio shows. But we do have one thing in common with all followers of Christ, the old hymn describes our mission ~
" To be like Jesus, To be like Jesus,
all I ask, to be like Him,
All through life's journey
From earth to glory,
All I ask, to be like Him. "
Remember Jesus prayer toward the end of His ministry while here on earth in a body just like ours, He prayed that we be one with Him, as He is in the Father, may we be in Him. This is our ultimate mission. This is His desire. It should be ours also.
I take great comfort in the fact that even though I am sure, in fact I know, that I have strayed many times while here on earth, God sent a heavenly messenger many times to watch over me while I was discouraged and sleeping, and the food and what sustained me was the faithfulness, gentleness and meekness of the One who knows our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf.
Rest in these comforts. Eat and live by His promises. He is Faithful and True and He will see that we finish the race in victory in Him.