Bravery, courage, spunk, faith, guts, gumption, fortitude, belief. What do these words mean to you? Do you think faith belongs in this list? As I ponder the question from the last blog entry, the story of Elijah kept coming to mind: Read this, amazing! Can't add much to this~
Ahab immediately left by chariot to drive about fifteen miles to tell Jezebel what Elijah did to the Baal prophets. Jezebel was furious and vowed to slay Elijah. She sent him the following message: “May the gods also kill me if by this time tomorrow I have failed to take your life like those whom you killed” (1 Kings 19:2). Elijah fled for his life. In a deep depression, he started complaining to God, “Why is this happening to me? I’ve done everything you said. I’ve been really, really good. I’ve stood up for you and now it’s not working out. I want to know why.” God said to him, “Go out from the mouth of the cave and stand.” Elijah looked and saw a tornado, and in the middle of the tornado there was no voice from God, and then there came fire and in the fire there was no voice from God, and then there came an earthquake and in the earthquake there was no voice from God but then in the still, small voice God spoke to him. He said in a whisper, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Elijah responded, “God, you know what I’m doing here. I’m running for my life.” God said to Elijah, “What are you doing here? You have run from the face of the enemy who I have control of. Oh, you of little faith. Can you not trust that I will be with you? I will protect you. I will strengthen you. I have just defended you from 450 priests of Baal, what is one queen going to do to you? You panicked and you ran. Trust me.” Soon afterward, God told Elijah to find a man named Elisha and to train and anoint him as Elijah’s future replacement. Elijah found Elisha plowing his field. Elisha accepted God’s call for his life and became Elijah’s assistant.
I realize, stepping out in faith is the easy part. Staying out there, on a limb, is the hard part. Courage is counting the cost and realizing the price is big, but doing it anyway. The question I asked myself this week was do I have what it takes to have true courage? In my mind that means, when all seems lost, everything is going against me, can I keep believing, keep hoping, and keep praising. Praising God when you have money to spare, kids that are all doing well, friends loving you, marriage thriving is easy- almost phony. It's when everything looks bleak and stepping out into the tornado or the earthquake-now that takes courage. God told Elijah-"step out from the mouth of the cave and stand." That is powerful! God says again, "What are you doing here?" Again- powerful.
How about me? When people turn against me, when circumstances don't go my way, do I hide? Do I hole up in my cave- (my home) or do I step out of that place and stand? God spoke to me this week through that question and story from His word-how about you?