Read 1 Kings 18:16-46; 19:1-21
Have you ever wished you could escape to a place where people aren’t? Yeah. Me too. Mars sounds appealing sometimes, doesn’t it?
The Lord didn’t create us to be isolated and alone. He knows that running from our problems won’t solve anything. Elijah thought he could escape from the prophet pressures by abandoning Israel, traveling days through the desert, and hiding in a cave. That is until God showed up and asked (twice),
“What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19:9, 13)
I’d love to hear the inflection in the Lord’s voice. Did He ask, “What are YOU doing here?”–focusing on his identity, an anointed prophet of God. Or, “What are you DOING here?”–pointing out that Elijah was hiding, sulking, and depressed. Or, “What are you doing HERE?”–emphasizing the location, Mt. Horeb. A place, by the way, where God never told him to go.
Elijah gave excuses of why he ran to Mt. Horeb, emphasizing that “I’m the only one left.” Notice the Lord didn’t coddle him. Instead, He told the prophet to go back the way he came and assume his prophet duties by anointing three other men with specific responsibilities. Oh, and by the way, Elijah’s despondent complaint that he was “the only loyal one left” was way off. The Lord assured him that 7,000 Israelites had not sold out to Baal. Elijah definitely had his work cut out for him.
Depression is a funny thing. It can cause us to go places we shouldn’t go and believe things that have no truth. We might run, but we can’t hide–at least not from God. Next time our emotions take us into a dry, lonely space, we shouldn’t be surprised when the Lord shows up and sends us back the way we came with an assignment that involves people. And a small voice in our ear that corrects an exaggeration we may have turned into reality.
The Lord knows that’s the best cure for emotional dips.
What makes you want to run?