Today, I learned a great lesson about trusting God. I have had a very difficult day. Much of the difficulty stems from my expectations, rather than the problems being so big. Near the end of today, I checked the mail and received a letter. I thought it would be a “thanks, but no thanks” form letter, but I was wrong. It was a very encouraging letter regarding my family’s ministry for Christ. The letter’s future impact may not progress any further than where we are now, but for today, it served as a gentle breeze.
What am I talking about? It took me a little while to see it too. In 1 Kings 19:9-13, the Prophet Elijah was serving God by proclaiming His Word, even when it was not popular. There was a bounty on his head, so he fled and hid. Elijah felt alone. He even told God that “Everyone wants to kill me and I’m alone.” (1 Kings 19:10, 14).
God told Elijah to go stand on the mountain. Maybe Elijah thought, “Great! I’ll be safe up here, while God wipes everyone out!” I only say that’s what he must have thought, because when the strong winds blew so hard that they were splitting the mountains and breaking rocks, the Bible says, “God was not in that wind.” How would we know? Elijah must have looked with expectation.
Then, there was a great earthquake. Surely God was in this earthquake, setting things right in my life! Nope, God was not there either. Just endure the earthquake, Elijah, it’s part of God’s plan. Then, there was a fire. God had shown Himself in a fire before (Gen. 19:24; Exodus 3:2; 9:23) . “Maybe God was bringing some fire justice to save me!” Nope. “The Lord was not in the fire.”
Finally, there was the “sound of a gentle blowing”. I don’t think Elijah expected to find God. Unlike the other times, Elijah took his time in going outside. He even took enough time to wrap his face in his mantle, as he stood in the entrance of the cave. Maybe he was thinking, well, I guess that’s it. It’s just going to be me, all alone, trudging along in my ministry. But then, God spoke. Here He was, announced by a gentle breeze. Not at all what Elijah expected. His question for Elijah was, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The question was for Elijah’s benefit, not God’s. Seriously. God is sovereign. Elijah’s circumstances are no surprise to Him. When God called Elijah to serve, did He qualify it and say, “Elijah, here is what I would like to see happen, as long as it doesn’t get too difficult and as long as you don’t get discouraged.” Again, the answer is “nope.”
God, allowed Elijah to complain about his circumstances once again, but gave him another task to do. A service of obedience to God. Another word for it is ministry. Elijah’s ministry was not to be derailed, no matter how difficult it was. God might not present Himself in big and mighty ways while we are struggling to serve Him. That doesn’t mean He won’t send a gentle blowing breeze. If I can learn to take note of the sound of a gentle breeze, I might even be encouraged.
Thank you, Lord.
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