Have you ever had life be so full that it left you breathless?
Right now I am, for the first time, sitting. The sunset is my light and the crickets are softly chirping all around me. The smell of grass is something I have gladly exchanged for the moment in place of the smell of crisp, new textbooks.
I have been sitting all week. Sitting through lectures, meetings, etc. But my heart? It’s in a million different places right now.
This is the first time in weeks that I have quieted and stilled my soul.
You see, I’m waiting. Waiting for Jesus to show up at my door and take away all of my problems, my hurt, my confusion, and my aching tiredness.
I was reminded of a story today. I want to share it with you.
There was this man named Elijah. And he was waiting.
His life was a mess. He was currently running from, oh, about an army of a million. And they were angry. Why? Because…well, if you asked him, he would tell you it was a long story.
Here’s the short version:
Elijah was basically a messenger for God. God talked, he listened. God had given him a special message for the people of the country of Israel. More specifically, a message for the ruler of Israel. She had not led the people well. She had brought in her own gods from different countries. She worshipped themand so did the rest of Israel. Elijah had told her again and again that God commanded that she give up all her other gods and serve only Him. He had given her the message not once, but several times. She simply would not listen. One day he proposed a contest. His God against her God. Whoever was more powerful would be the one they all submitted to. Let’s just say that his God won. This time she was outraged. She wanted him gone. So what did she do? She simply sent out her army to go and kill him.
So here we find Elijah. I can see him now. He was breathless and exhausted. And he was hiding in a cave. On top of a high mountain. Like a really high mountain.
He was waiting for God to show up. He already had his speech all planned for when God did.
After all, it was God’s fault, wasn’t it? He had simply been the messenger, and God clearly was not protecting him.
So there he stood, outside his cave, waiting.
Here’s what 1 Kings 19 says:
“There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away. And He said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord..but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a gentle whisper.”
God doesn’t take away chaos. He doesn’t take away all problems.
But you know what He does do?
He comes in the midst of it. And maybe that’s better than it being taken away.
I feel more safe when my Abba Father takes my hand and walks with me through my chaos. If he simply just erased all my problems and walked away, I would still be scared. And desperately alone.
But He comes in a gentle whisper instead.
He calms my fears. He pursues me with unfailing love and patience. He is there. Through the fire, the earthquake, and the storm.
I need only be still and listen.
Because, friends, in the midst of everything going on in your life (not just mine!) He never left.
Sure, you could come up with a list of everything you’re mad at Him about. Life just isn’t pretty. But it’s not His fault. He wants to hold your hand as you go through this. Still your pacing soul. Let all that you cannot control slip from your weak hands and into His strong ones.