The Lord has me sitting in the story of Elijah lately. I must be a slow learner because it seems like we have been here a while. But I confess, the longer I sit in these couple of chapters, 1 Kings 17- 19, the more I see of God, and the more I see of me.
What I like about Elijah is his utterly honest humanity. He walked with God when things were really, really bad; when it didn’t look like things would be improving soon. But still he depended on God. And he trusted God to not only understand his weaknesses but to CARE about them. This strengthens me. When all the wheels start coming off my life, it refreshes me to have a God that won’t despise my weaknesses but help me in them.
Look at Elijah as a flesh and blood example. He had just declared to Ahab, one of Israel’s most wicked kings, that “as the Lord lives, the God of Israel lives,” there would be no rain or even dew until Elijah says so. Talk about gumption. That is serious confidence in God. Elijah’s whole accusation against Ahab was that the king had turned to false idols and led the nation away also. Elijah was constantly pointing back to the clear evidence God was alive and well and willing to be their Loving God.
Now look what follows. God sent Elijah to a remote place where there was a brook and told Elijah that He had commanded the ravens to provide for him there. Draught on the land, provision for you. All through the Bible you see how God protects and provides for his own regardless of what is happening all around.
In this quiet place, equipped with fresh water, God sent ravens every morning and evening with meat and bread to feed Elijah.
This weekend in my own head, when the giants seem too big, the desert too hot, the needs too great, the bills too many — this weekend I was struck by the time between morning and evening for Elijah. Did he ever question that the ravens would come? Was he ever surprised day after day? Why didn’t the Lord just give him a small oven and flour? What was the Lord teaching Elijah (and us) in the space between meals?
Before every great battle and public encounter, there is a private battle and spiritual encounter. I think God used this time to teach Elijah that he could not take care of himself. Elijah had to look to God to provide, even for the food in his mouth. I think God was teaching Elijah how to faith in the space between meals. I think God was teaching Elijah how to Receive from His hand, in whatever way, by whatever means the Lord decided was best for Elijah. Even when that way was ravens. I think God was preparing Elijah in the quiet space for the battle that was on its way.
I am not going to rush through this story. But for today, I wonder, are you looking for the ravens? Are you receiving what the Lord is sending for your good? Are you waiting by the brook for your God or are you bustling about trying to feed yourself? “He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.”