By Dan Nichols
We’re all in over our heads right now. These are hard times. But the hard times are the best times to become who God made us to be.
The prophet Elijah experienced this in 1 Kings 19. He just did this amazing thing for God on Mount Carmel in chapter 18. He took care of business and proved there is only One True God.
Then right after that spiritual high, in 1 Kings 19:1–2, one of the scariest rulers in all of Scripture (Queen Jezebel) tells Elijah, “I’m going to take you out.” And Elijah responds just like any of us would: “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.”
In verse 4, he ends up next to a bush in the middle of nowhere, and here’s what he tells God: “I’ve had enough, God.”
In the middle of this COVID crisis, I’m pretty sure most of us feel that way too. Elijah hits rock bottom so hard that he actually asks God to take his life and then falls asleep because he’s so exhausted.
Isn’t that where we are right now? Exhausted. Scared. Worried. Wanting to run from our problems (except we can’t because we’re in quarantine lockdowns). But look what God does for Elijah!
First Kings 19:5 says, “All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’” And that message isn’t just for Elijah back in the day; it’s for us today in 2020 too!
In the middle of Elijah’s stress, fear, and exhaustion, God challenges Elijah to be courageous. He is in complete control of the situation and He even provides for Elijah’s immediate needs as it’s going on. First Kings 19:6 says, Elijah “looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.”
Here’s the amazing thing about the One True God: He doesn’t call us to do something that he doesn’t provide for. God doesn’t write checks that bounce. God’s calling is his enabling, and he will give us everything we need to do what he’s calling us to do. Right here. Right now. “For such a time as this.”
We have to get up. We have to eat, drink, and humbly receive what God has laid out before us. God’s still in control with a plan and purpose; we can trust His heart even when we can’t trace His hand.
None of us wants this. We wouldn’t choose it ourselves, and we’re praying desperately for God to stop the spread of this virus. But crisis catapults courage. God will propel us forward.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think . . . to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 1:20–21)
Dan Nichols is executive director of the Northeast Collaborative, a resourcing network of churches. This article is reposted with permission from his website.