Elijah was afraid and fearful. He had been zealous for the Lord but was declared as an enemy. Jezebel the queen of Israel threatened to kill him. Fearful, Elijah takes rescue in the wilderness. For Elijah, this was the end of his ministry. To God, this was the beginning of a new ministry for Elijah.
Friends, the events leading up to a new assignment looks similar to defeat, hopelessness, worthlessness, failures, defensiveness, and just plain lethargic with no desire to live.
Elijah 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.” 1 Kings 19:10
Interestingly God never responds to any of these feelings that Elijah articulates. God neither nurses it nor condemns it, just re-directs it by allowing him space to express, a place to rest, and food for strength. Afterward, God gives him the new assignment.
From time to time God brings detours into our lives. We don’t always get the badge of honor we hoped for… for our service. Sometimes we get the dishonorable discharge that we most dreaded for the assignments completed for the Lord in all our zealousness. In the midst of threats, abandonment, hopelessness, our immediate need becomes our need for vindication. We lose focus of the call and our work. God reminds us gently “my child, your need is not vindication, your need is rejuvenation and continuation”
Rest my soul, eat and be nourished, the journey ahead is too much, this is the place to find strength.