Recently, I’ve been struggling with spiritual lowness in my life. I’ve questioned God in every aspect of my life, including my calling, career, family, and my own personal growth. Even though I have seen God’s goodness in my life for the past few years — how He saved me physically from a vehicular accident, to how He kept me under His wings — I questioned Him. I questioned God because He has taken almost everything from me: my work, my working-relationship in Christian organisations, my life purpose, and direction in life. I used to think that I was called to the sciences, then I thought I was called to ministry. Now, I’m in a stage of life where nothing seems to make sense. The COVID-19 pandemic that is currently happening around us only made it worse.
My life is nothing like the prophet Elijah’s. But here’s the similar bit: Elijah ran from Jezebel for fear of his life despite having just witnessed many miracles in his life. I too, am running away despite having seen many of God’s miracles. It was unsure why Elijah felt this way. We can only guess that it was a cumulation of life-threats and emotions arising from a fugitive lifestyle. However, unlike Elijah, I do not receive death-threats and the like… But with everything taken away from me, it sure felt like I’ve lost all directions in life and I do not know what is an appropriate step to take following this.
Elijah was introduced to us in 1 Kings 17 as the Tishbite from Tishbe. Even though Elijah was said to be a person who serves God wholeheartedly, he began his ministry by proclaiming a great drought (1 Kings 17:1) followed by a desperate need to run into the wilderness to be fed by ravens (1 Kings 17:2-6) — a breed of unclean birds (Leviticus 11:13-15). From then on, Elijah has been in hiding; even seeking shelter from a widow (1 Kings 17:8-9).
Though Elijah had experienced the power of God through the witnessing of the fulfilment of the drought (1 Kings 17:1; 17:7; 18:2), eating food brought to him by ravens (1 Kings 17:6), witnessing the resurrection of the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:19-23), and witnessing the fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifices (1 Kings 18:36-39), he had no “earthly” accomplishment. Throughout his life, Elijah was completely dependent on the Lord for his survival. Being constantly threatened might have pushed him to the brink of depression where he cried out, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4).
My life is nothing like Elijah’s. But reflecting on Elijah’s life, it comforts me to know that our God is a God who will care for our needs. He isn’t a God who will push us to our limits. Rather, He is a God who knows exactly what we need. When God saw Elijah at his lowest, He sent an angel to care for his physical well-being. Twice, the angel prepared some bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water (1 Kings 19:6-8). Between this, the angel protected Elijah while allowing Elijah some time to sleep and get the necessary rest he needed (1 Kings 19:5-6). Only when Elijah had ate his full and had rested enough, Elijah stood up and headed to the mountain of the Lord to seek God (1 Kings 19:8).
“As long as we put our trust in Him and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, God will never fail to disappoint.”
Just like how God cared for Elijah, so will He care for us. God knows when we are at our lowest — when we have lost our jobs and everything that made us who we are, God will look down from heaven and send help to us. It is at our lowest that we are reminded to seek God, to rest in His sovereign providence. Jesus reminded us to first seek His kingdom and His righteousness. When we’ve done that, God will prepared for us all the things that we need (ref: Matthew 6:33). He knew when we needed rest. He knew when we needed food. And just as how God provided the ravens and the widow to provide for Elijah’s needs, God might use the funniest methods to meet ours too. We just needed to put on our spiritual lenses and take it all in.
After meeting Elijah’s physical needs, scripture told us that God did not stop there. God continued to show Elijah a glimpse of His glory (1 Kings 19:11-13) and gave Elijah a purpose and direction in life. This act reassured Elijah that God is still in control of all the elements and that Elijah has nothing to fear. When Elijah’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs are all met, God gave Elijah his task: “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 19:15-16).
God knew all our needs — physical, mental, and spiritual. God too, know that we need a purpose and direction in life. As long as we put our trust in Him and know that “all these things will be given to you” as long as we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,” God will never fail to disappoint. And it is on this faith that I’m building my foundations upon. Just as how God provided for Elijah, I’m sure He will provide for me.Image by PDPics from Pixabay
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