1 Kings 18 concludes with what reads as a declaration of victory. The Lord answered Elijah’s call for fire and then sent much needed rain upon the land. God’s hand was on Elijah, who ran ahead of Ahab to Jezreel, and it seems at this point that Elijah has nothing to fear. Why should he? After what he’d seen the Lord do in and through his own life, Elijah had to know that there was no threat against him that would succeed while the Lord’s hand was upon him. Right?
And yet, what we find in 1 Kings 19 is not a prophet filled with hope and confidence in the Lord but one running in fear and living with defeat. We see a man who had experienced victory as he trusted and obeyed the word of the Lord now driven only by Jezebel’s threatening words. How does this happen? How does someone see the power of the Lord and then live in fear of anyone else? We don’t really have to wonder. We know that sometimes it is an external threat that takes our focus off of God and leads us to despair, but other times, despair comes not as we look around but as we look at the sin and limitations within us. Either way, trouble begins when we take our eyes and ears off of the Lord, and in those times, we need to be reminded of the victory God has promised and His faithfulness to provide. When Elijah ran and hid, the Lord found him. When Elijah felt all alone, the Lord was with him. When Elijah persisted in despair in spite of God’s instruction to anoint new kings and a new prophet to continue the work, the Lord pointed to the faithful men and women throughout Israel who hadn’t bowed before Baal.
Today, maybe you’re where Elijah was–scared, anxious, and feeling all alone–and like Elijah, what you need is to be reminded that the Lord’s hand is on your life. Arise and eat. Don’t give up. Stay the course. Or maybe you know someone who is there, and what you need to do today is be the reminder in their life that they are not alone. Call, text, or send a note. Let’s help each other remember the power and peace of our ever-present God.