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Pumpkin Spice and God's Provision

’Tis the season for soft sweaters, pumpkin flavors, crunchy leaves, and warm fires. It should be fuzzy feelings and good times. Life is not always as we expect. People are fighting difficult battles, even when we feel it is not fair or we were hoping to enjoy the season instead of make it through stress.

Our friend in the Bible, Elijah felt the same way - stressed and depressed! In 1 Kings18, our buddy displayed God’s power to the Baal worshipers and King Ahab. He even had some great sarcastic remarks to make in 1 Kings 18: 27! I love to see the humanity and humor in people we read about in God’s Word! God used Elijah to show the people that through his humble prayer asking God to show His power and for the people to turn back to God, God Himself sent fire from heaven that consumed a soaking wet altar, while Baal’s prophets still waited for Baal, the false god, to answer their same prayers. Let me ruin the ending for you - Baal was not able to send fire down, so the people recognized God’s power!

In chapter 19, however, Elijah is not thrilled that, despite the firestorm and God’s display of power, there was no great revival AND King Ahab reported what he had seen to his truly diabolical wife, Jezebel, who claimed she would find him and kill him! Elijah is super scared for his life and utterly depressed as he asks God to just kill him in 1 Kings 19:4. Poor guy. I would be terrified too! He had worked so hard for the Lord and served him as a faithful prophet, yet his life was probably not what he had expected.

The cool part is God sent an angel to Elijah who told him to eat. This prophet was physically and emotionally drained and needed some nourishment! He had lost his vision of God’s calling and felt isolated. He felt he had nobody on the same team, which leads to total hopelessness. We have all been there before, right? It is seriously tender and kind that God began with simple food to bring this prophet some encouragement.

I love the fact that Elijah complains - a LOT - in this chapter. In 1 Kings 18:10, he lists all he has done for God, then lets God know that now he is in danger of being killed. On the mountain in the Lord’s presence, a wind, an earthquake, and a fire came, but God was not in those powerful elements. A still, quiet whisper is what God used to speak to this discouraged, ready-to-die man who has tried his best to stay faithful to His Lord. Funny, though, Elijah takes this opportunity to complain again in 1 Kings 18:14! It seems this human man has become focused on self instead of God. When we become inward-focused, we can miss the great God has done and the good things around us! Elijah is depressed and thinking about his sadness, so he is missing God’s love and goodness. I mean, he IS being chased by an evil queen and running for his life, so it wold be easy to slip into a depressed mindset. I would feel the same way, I am sure!

After feeling intensely alone, God sent a blessing and let Elijah know that He has left 7,000 people in Israel who still serve the one true God. God also sent him a comrade in Elisha, who served as Elijah’s successor. God changed Elijah’s role and gave him friendship. For Elijah, it seems Elisha was a true relief and comfort to the worn and weary prophet.

I get tremendously excited about all these narratives from the Old Testament and I enjoy seeing the real humanity in these people we read about. Sometimes we attribute perfection to them or see them as different from us since they lived so long ago, but they are still humans and act very much the same. When we feel alone or depressed, we can always be real before God and talk to Him about all we feel. Even when Elijah was complaining, he never stopped talking to God. Our Lord cares about all we care about and listens to us when we speak. When we feel alone and depressed, we also need to good food and good sleep, which is what God allowed Elijah. God was compassionate and provided food and not death as he asked for!

When we feel life is not fair and life should be different, we can remember that we can be still in God’s presence and let Him know exactly how we feel, cry, complain, and groan. We can then allow God to work and show gentle kindness to us in our destitution and distress. It may not shift the situation immediately, but we can feel His presence and comfort and we can watch to see how God works and provides. Be specific when asking God for what you need. He knows your needs and will provide for your best in His glory. He loves that much! How have you seen God provide for you in suffering like He provided for Elijah? I would love to hear your words of encouragement! Praying you feel God’s love this fall season!



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