That Small Voice
by Ryan Duncan, Editor at TheFish.com
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Sometimes I just get very, very tired. I have been a Christian all my life, starting from an early age when my parents taught me about Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross. As I’ve grown older however, my confidence and faith have been tested in ways I never expected. I’ve seen Christian friends get bored with their faith, and eventually discard it. I struggled with questions that have no real answers, and I’ve watched as the Church moved from a place of respect in our society, to a place of mockery and disdain.
In moments like these I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle for a cause no one cares about, so I can certainly empathize with Elijah in 1 Kings 19. At this point, Elijah has just conquered the prophets of Baal, and is slowly leading his people back to the Lord. Then a message from Jezebel sends him fleeing into the desert, and he eventually turns to God and says, “That’s it. I’m done. I give up.”
Take a look at what happens next,
“The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.” – 1 Kings 19:11-16
At first, I really didn’t get this passage. Elijah came before God looking for comfort, strength, and encouragement, but instead God just gave him more orders, not exactly the response he was looking for. After reading the passage a second time though, I began to understand. You see, Elijah wasn’t ready to give up, he had given up. After everything that had happened, he had decided it was a lost cause and that there was nothing left to do but die.
But God showed him it wasn’t over. God showed Elijah He was still there, he had a plan, and he would never be beaten. The world is a tough place, and there are times when every Christian wonders if staying true to God is really worth it. So in those moments remember the story of Elijah, and hold on to the still, small voice of Christ in your heart which says, “It’s not over. I’m not done yet. There is a reason to keep going.”
Intersecting Faith and Life
Are you feeling overwhelmed by life? Take some time alone with God and let him know your fears.