Created by a perfect creator, we are all capable of moments of greatness. In between these moments we are also capable of falling well short of the mark. Hands can clap and hands can scold. Always remember that God is in control. The hand that cheers us when things are going well will be the same hand to catch us when we fall.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Elijah was an incredible servant of the most high God. A man of many miracles. God's anointing upon him shone like the light which shone through Christ. Even those associated with his anointing became blessed. Elijah though, was still human. Just after one of his greatest demonstrations of the awesome anointing of God, Elijah displayed a moment of his humanity. A man capable of calling fire from heaven was now making claims of not being good enough and ending his own life. Was he crazy? No, Elijah simply understood his humanity.
“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”
It made me wonder, can we lay claim to the spirit of Elijah without understanding the humanity of Elijah? Being outnumbered by false prophets, having to oppose one of the most wicked kings of his time and being hunted by Jezebel were all tests that seemed beneath him. Elijah now faced his biggest challenge - himself. How did God move upon his prophet during this time? He renewed his strength.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
The simplicty of this was almost too much for my modern mind. No counselling session or multitude of words to stir up Elijah's feelings of self worth? No, God simply renewed the strength of his child. A reminder to me that the promises of God are indeed enough. This strength allowed Elijah to fast for the much lauded forty day mark. Like those he would later appear with, Elijah also had an encounter with God on the back end of his fast. A fast for God brings the reward.
“That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”
Elijah's act of fasting brought to the surface all that was attempting to hinder him. Feelings of godly sorrow toward his brethren for forsaking the most high God. Feelings of isolation that came with the idea of possibly being the only one left that was holy. Elijah brought all his burdens to his father in heaven.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
What was God's instruction to Elijah? Go stand upon the mountain. By today's standards, something akin to a hurricane then appeared on Elijah's doorstep as God's presence drew near. This storm was not Elijah's portion, God's voice however was. God gave Elijah his commission and provided him with the comfort of knowing that he was not alone.
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Beloved of God, the message still holds today. You are not alone. God needed Elijah to be Elijah, he needs you to be you. We must be willing to come to terms with our humanity and bring this to God. In doing so, Elijah did all what God purposed during his life, passed his blessing on and was called home. Call it the spiritual version of the circle of life. May God continue to lead us all according to his divine will. Live in grace, walk in peace and be blessed.