It must have been a very terrible life for the prophet Elijah. He was called by God to speak against a very powerful king, a ruthless king – King Ahab. King Ahab committed two sins: he married a pagan, and he erected an altar in honor of a pagan god.
Elijah said that because of these sins, there would be a drought in Israel. He asked Yahweh to make a miracle. The miracle happened and the Israelites started to get convinced. Jezebel, the wife of the King, was actually the reason for the punishment and suffering inflicted on Israel.
The whole Israel sided with Elijah. The whole Israel went against Jezebel who, in return, ran after Elijah, wanting to kill him for being a prophet. Elijah was afraid to die and he ran away from the King. When he was already far from those who were pursuing him, he stopped and said, “I want to die.”
Elijah said this, showing how confused he was. Death had been right in front of him with the threat of Jezebel but he ran away. But once he successfully eluded death in the clutches of Jezebel, he wanted to die. He became confused and ambivalent. He was terribly unsure about what to do.
God confronted him and said, “Why are you here?” His question implied that Elijah was in the wrong place. He should be in the battlefield, in Israel, he must not run away from danger but must believe that God would always be with him no matter what happened.
It is the same with us. When we come to the point of giving up, the Lord asks us, “Why are you here? Why are you running away? Are you not supposed to be with me on my cross? Are you not supposed to be with me in my sacrifice? Have you not chosen me with my cross included?”
It must have been a very terrible life for Elijah, as it is now a terrible life for us. We run away from danger because we must preserve ourselves, but we must not run away from the cross. The cross is not our danger, the cross is our salvation. We do not run away from the cross, we run away from sin. We do not run away from Jesus Christ, we run away from the evil one.
When the Lord sends problems into your life, it is not because God is abandoning you, it is not because God is forsaking you, it is not because God is forgetful, it is not because God is negligent. It is because God shares with you His most precious treasure – His – Cross.
Why do we run away from the cross? In the cross is our salvation. Let us pray for courage to be able to start all over again Let us pray for strength to overcome our anxiety, to overcome our discouragement and we will tell the Lord, “I will not give up, I will not run away because I know that you are with me.’
Take courage, the Lord is with us.
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
1 Kings 19:1-18
Only Jesus, Always Jesus