After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!” And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.” And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth. 1 Kings 17:17-24
When circumstances aren’t going well, we get discouraged. When people let us down, we’re disappointed. When our health takes a turn for the worse, we’re afraid. When we are threatened, we run. We’re tempted to take matters into our own hands and trust in ourselves. Every day we face authentic human emotions, just like the man Elijah.
Elijah had a nature like ours (James 5:17). His emotions went up and down. Some events he experienced were unbelievably amazing and others were frighteningly awful. Elijah was humbled by them. He learned. He let God have his way. He thought God provided a widow with food, but she had empty shelves. He could have found his own provisions, but he didn’t. He prayed and there was enough food for the household. They thought they had survived the drought, but then the widow’s son died. Elijah appealed to God in prayer and the boy’s life returned. He and the widow found faith and strength in God’s answers. Elijah’s actions came from what he knew about God. It gave him courage to stand firm, to have uncompromising obedience and perseverance.
What do we appeal to when we experience the hills and valleys in our life or God is silent? May we be like Elijah; he called out to God based on what he learned of God’s character in his training ground. We, too, can have steady faith and unwavering trust call us to action. We, too, can believe in his name, wait for his word, and do what he tells us to do. God’s faithfulness to us gives us strength, courage and persistence through the ups and downs. Our faithfulness to God gives us a steady spirit to ride out the lows and highs of life. The wonder of Elijah’s life is that we can have a relationship with God Almighty just like he did. We have a human nature like Elijah, and we, in our humanness, can live utterly dependent on God as well.
Today, decide to trust God in an area of need, and wait on him. Pray continually, listen for his word, and do what he says. To help you, make a list of the “I am’s” from scripture. “I am your God, I am with you, I am…..”
By Donna Burns