SPIRITUAL MATTERS: Feeling all alone

This past week in worship we heard the account of God meeting Elijah upon the mountain.

Isn’t it interesting that God asks Elijah (not once but two times) “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9b and 13) Did God not know? Of course He knew, for God is omniscient, He knows all things. He asks the question, however, so Elijah can reflect on what is taking place in his midst.

Maybe there are times in your life when you have struggled what is termed “The Elijah Syndrome.” Elijah was a prophet who lived in difficult times.

He showed God’s power in the defeat of the prophets of Baal, a false god who was worshiped in the land.  He watched people die for their faith.  He saw worship places overthrown.

He felt like he was the only one left and Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, the ruler of the land, was seeking Elijah’s life.  God showed Elijah that there were 7,000 believers in Israel. He was not alone!

But, before this number was revealed, God revealed Himself to Elijah.  A strong wind passed through the mountains, then an earthquake, and then a fire.

These are strong elements often feared by man when out of control.  The almighty God, however, was not revealed in this power.  God followed in a whisper.  Think of the power of comfort in a whisper.

Think of how assuring it can be.  A whisper can be, to a troubled heart and soul, a breath of fresh air!

In light of the many trials we face in this world, especially some of the attacks we see on the Christian faith in the world today, we might wonder.   Is God still in control?  Is God still almighty?  Does God know what we are facing and, if He does, does He even care?

When these trials come in life there are words to which we might turn for comfort and strength.  The closing words of Psalm 46 remind us: Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (vv. 10-11)

Be still and know.  Do we take time to turn to God in prayer?  Do we spend time listening to His guidance through answered prayer and time with Him in studying His Word?  Do we listen and, when He answers, follow?  God is there to protect us as we live our faith in Him now, and especially in the glories of heaven.

So, when the trials come strong, place yourself on the Rock which gives solid footing.  Then, listen for His guidance.  Stand strong realizing you are never alone.  God is with you.  And God is leading you to listen to others to guide them in their pain.  You may not have all the answers but He does!

Lord, guide us to listen.  Lead us to follow, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

The Rev. Kendall Schaeffer is pastor of St. Trinity Lutheran Church.