“What are you doing here, Elijah?”– 1 Kings 19:13
Very often, as a Christian, times of trial and testing come after mountaintop successes. Jesus promised there would always be opposition, even from within the church (Luke 17:1-4). We are to expect it. “Trials usually follow victories,” and we need to be prepared. If we are not, we end up in places we were never supposed to be. We run and hide due to depression and self-pity. This is what Elijah did when Jezebel threatened his life. He was hiding in a cave.
Elijah thought his ministry was a failure, and he was utterly exhausted. Not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. This exhaustion culminated in poor decision making. Elijah needed prayer and rest. Instead, he allowed his anxiety to take over, and he ended up in a place he was never supposed to be. He ran away and was out of God’s will and plan for his life. We see the hopelessness in his prayer. He prayed that he might die and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:4). Here is a great man of God in complete despair. How encouraging for us to know Elijah was just as human as we are today.
God did not forget Elijah. Although in hiding, Elijah was found by the Lord. In fact, we are told that an angel came and fed him to ensure he was strengthened for further ministry. Although Elijah gave up on himself, the Lord never did. God began a good work in him, and He would be faithful to complete it. But the fierce winds and fires displayed before Elijah never moved him. It was that still small voice of God that did (1 Kings 19:12).
It could be that you are feeling depressed and anxious. Maybe you think that your life or ministry is worthless. It is possible that you, like Elijah, decided to give up. During these times, we begin allowing our feelings to dictate a false reality. Just because you do not see your life as having any value does not mean God sees it that way. Elijah did not know that his ministry saved seven thousand people. His life had value, and God used him. Your life has value too, and the Lord wants to use you. If you are in hiding, may you hear the Savior’s still small voice calling you and asking, “what are you doing here?” Surrender to the Lord today and see what mighty things He will do in and through your life!
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”– Philippians 1:6