Guest Devotionalist -- Aaron Gansky
By: Aaron Gansky
The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19: 11-13
What then, is most impressive about Elijah? Which miracles should we pick to recognize and marvel over? Clearly it's when he challenged four hundred prophets of Baal to a deity Smack down in the vein of the WWE. The odds were hardly in his favor, but his unwavering faith was rewarded. God, likely with a divine suplex, knocked Baal down for the count. And Elijah, His servant, commanded all four hundred prophets to be led to a river and slaughtered. Impressive.
But that's not why my second son is named Elijah.
Of course, then, it must be when he raised the poor widow's son from the dead. You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? What, then?
My son is named Elijah because Elijah ran away.
Really. See, the miracles, as impressive as they are, they don't reveal who Elijah really was. A prophet? Yes. An amazing prophet? Absolutely. Human. Exactly. Elijah made mistakes like so many others. But here's what Elijah did after his mistake. He made up for it.
Shortly after he had the prophets of Baal slaughtered, the wicked Queen of the land asked for his head on a platter. Elijah got scared and ran. This isn't what God wanted, per se. So God had a short conversation with him. Something to the effect of "Why you runnin', son?" To his credit, Elijah answers truthfully. "Uhm, Lord, I'm peein' my pants over here. This really bad woman wants me dead, and she can do it. I'm all alone."
God says, "Meet Me on the mountain." Elijah does. And he has to endure a harsh wind, an earthquake, and a fire. See, if it's me, I'm gone after the earthquake. That's when I start thinking, "Oops, guess God ain't too happy with me." But Elijah stays. There's his faith. God said, "Meet Me here," and by golly, I'm going to.
More impressive is God's gentle question-"Why are you here?" And his answer to Elijah's concern, "I'm all alone." God said, "Go back and anoint new leaders." See, this action provided for Elijah's concern, but also required faith on his part. Elijah never seems short of faith does he? Well, maybe just when he's running away.
So you see, my son is named Elijah because he's human. He'll make mistakes. He'll have doubts. But, eventually and unfailingly, he'll return to the service of God.
At least, he will if I serve God. His faith will be a measure of my own. And there's my challenge. More accurately--there's our challenge.
Where would God like to meet you? Are you late for that meeting? Are you waiting through the winds, earthquakes, and fires? Rejoice. God's gentle whisper is just around the corner.
Aaron is an author and creative writing teaching living in California.