One of my absolute favorite Bible stories is from I Kings 19:10-13. It’s the story of Elijah running away from his calling. It’s the story of God being revealed through natural disasters, and finally, bending low to meet Elijah where Elijah wants to meet God–in a whisper of a question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah is a bit defensive in his answer, but with good reason! He is, essentially, being hunted by the current king and queen of Israel for challenging their deity and continuing to proclaim God throughout Israel. Elijah is exhausted, he’s ready to die but God’s presence is life and through Elijah’s conversation with God he is renewed and reenters his ministry in Israel.
Why do I love this story? First, it’s so relatable! In our life’s most vulnerable moments we also crawl up in our caves, perhaps it’s under the blankets of our bed, or maybe behind the screen of our computer or cell phone. We also try to escape from the situations and circumstances that are most frightening. And in the midst of our dismal situation, God also comes to us, whispering, “What are you doing here?”
Why do I love this story? Second, God speaks and listens to Elijah. God doesn’t try to explain the situation, or correct Elijah’s feelings–God listens and then God recommissions Elijah to return to his ministry in Israel. Having a good friend listen to me, really listen, when I’m going through a hard time is so valuable. Knowing they won’t try to fix my problem or put in their two cents, rather, they’ll just hear me and try to understand what I’m going through.
God seeks us and finds us, God hears us, and God will bring us into new life.