Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
In I Kings 16, the scriptures tell of when King Ahab came to rule of Israel. He desired to worship Baal, a false god, provoking God’s anger. Due to Ahab’s disobedience, God proclaimed through the prophet Elijah) that there would be no rain. The drought would last indefinitely, until God said differently. (I Kings 17:1) God then directed His prophet Elijah to a brook where he would have water, and the ravens would feed him.
In an instance, Elijah’s life, and the lives of the Israelites had changed. What they knew to be common (rain) would cease to take place. It can feel frustrating when the actions of others cause our lives to be turned upside down. Yet we are called to trust in God’s plan. Through the example of Elijah, we learn that in the darkest of unexpected moments, our sustenance comes solely from God. Obedience keeps us in God’s rest as we learn to trust that He will take care of us – even when we can’t see how it will all work out.
Elijah’s Change in Direction
As for Elijah, after a period of time – the brook dried up. He was then given a new set of instructions. In 1 Kings 17:8-9, the scriptures read:
“Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”
It’s easy to expect that God would have kept the brook running when the rest of the land was dry. In our trials, we often want the simplest solutions possible. Nevertheless, God’s ways are not our ways, and I appreciate that God’s initial solution to feed His servant did not last for the duration of the drought.
Why? Because life requires change, and not all change is negative. Movement is the key to growth, and sometimes, God needs us to move. When we see our own “brooks” drying up, all is not lost. God has outlined a plan for our futures, and for our next steps. And so, Elijah went to the city of Zarephath. There, at the gate of the city, was a widow gathering sticks. (1 Kings 17:10). She would end up providing for Elijah during his time of need.
Trusting in God’s Plan
And while there is so much more to this story, I’d like to pause here to talk about the trust Elijah had in God’s plan during a difficult season. From an outside perspective, it may seem easy that Elijah was able to trust in God. Afterall, he had clear instructions. Yet, there are many examples in 1 Kings of the leaders of Israel – who heard the voice of God and chose to ignore His commands, thus forfeiting God’s promises.
It’s important to recognize that hearing God isn’t enough. It takes practiced obedience and humility to value His direction above our own. Sometimes it can be hard to trust in God when it seems as though He is silent. Yet with a spirit of gratitude, the discipline of self-control, and the willingness to be open to His plan, we begin the process of truly listening when God so chooses to speak.
Patience is one of the hardest parts of our journeys. It’s the waiting that makes room for doubt and fear. Nevertheless, we must still approach the throne of grace knowing that God hears us, even when He chooses to take a different route than the one we wanted. To seek after God’s presence isn’t about getting our way. Instead, it’s about moving self out of the way so that we can experience God’s righteousness and His glory. He will take us down the path that’s needed – if we only trust that He is able to do so.
Acting on Faith
Trusting in God’s plan is something we must do to experience its benefits. God cannot make us trust Him; it is our choice. And that choice can be incredibly difficult. Illness… job loss… incarceration… death … divorce…all of our crossroads are different. What we have in common, however, is that we are living in a world full of pain and suffering, seeped in an abundance of sinful actions that surround us, and at times – live in us. To hold onto God when facing our darkest of times can feel impossible.
Still, God has a plan for us. Unfortunately, the devil wants to make it so hard for us to believe that God has our best interest at heart – but He does. Don’t let the destroyer trick you into believing God has abandoned you. He is still present, and willing to bear our burdens. So no matter how low your spirits, or how hard the days are, pray for the strength to take action. Begin to clear the clouds that enshroud you through daily devotion. Tell God you’re scared, you’re angry, and that you feel alone. Tell Him whatever you feel, laying your burdens at the foot of the cross, knowing that God is always willing to listen.
And then comes the hardest part… we must have the faith to wait upon the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 promises us this: “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Don’t let the waiting periods break you or cause you to go down roads that God never intended for you to go. Nothing profitable for your soul exists there. Instead, trust in God’s plan, act on faith, and believe that God is who He says He is. Better days are ahead… if we only hope and believe.Print This Devotional