I was having a “moment” that turned into a day. Moodiness and dissatisfaction seeped into the cracks of my vulnerable state. Relationships seemed like extra work. People disappointed me with their actions. Church ministry and MOPS plans gave me a glimpse into the type of schedule the fall would usher in. My fun plans for the day fell through. I was unhappy, weary, and felt overwhelmed. Coffee and chocolate could not clear the cloud hanging over my day.
I should have stopped to pray. I didn’t. I should have opened my Bible. I didn’t. Instead, I suffered silently through the day, trying to mentally solve situations that I had no control over and participating in a personal pity party.
The next day, my morning devotions led me to a verse, which led me to another verse, that led me to a story that I needed to read. I love when this happens. It feels like you have found an unmarked trail, beckoning you to explore and discover something new. This story was about the prophet Elijah and the wicked King Ahab.
Elijah had just challenged the prophets of Baal, killed them, and told Ahab to go eat and drink for an abundance of rain would break the long drought that held the land. While Ahab went to rejoice, Elijah climbed up the top of Mount Carmel to fervently pray for rain. It was a head on the ground, face between his knees, full-body believing, and intense-kind of supplication.
After a time of prayer, Elijah told his servant to go look to the sea for rain. The servant came back, no sign of rain. Elijah got back in his prayer position. Again, he sent his servant to look for rain and again, the servant came back with no news of rain. This happened FIVE more times until, at last, the servant came back with news that a cloud as big as a man’s hand is rising from the sea. A very small cloud to bring the promise of an abundance of rain. Elijah sent his servant to tell Ahab to get in his chariot before the rain stopped him on his ride to Jezreel. And then this….
“The power of the LORD came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.” 1 Kings 18:46
Skies blackening with dark gray rain clouds, temperature dropping with a cold wind. The first drops of rain fell and multiplied in intensity. Elijah filled with glory and power from the LORD, hiked up his long robe, tucked the garment into his belt. His eyes set on the direction of Jezreel, he ran or 15 miles through downpours to Jezreel.
Convicted about my poor attitude and moodiness, I quieted myself to listen to what God wanted me to hear. My prayer life needed work. SEVEN times Elijah prayed on his face between his knees for rain. He did not give up on the first time or fourth time. He did not stop when his request was not immediately fulfilled; he got back on his knees and prayed again. Elijah rested in anticipation and the expectation that God would be faithful. Oh, to pray like Elijah! I might need to pray once or a hundred times, but I need to believe the answer will come in the right amount of time. Whatever it may be, God’s got this! I need to rest with anticipation and expectation that my need will be fulfilled.
In addition to my prayers, I need to allow God to take over in every area of my life. Elijah’s run reminds me of that. When I try to do things under my own power I stumble and fall over my cloak of commitments, human nature, and sin. I need to tuck my life in the belt of truth, allow God to fill me with his power, so that I can run free with courage and strength. I may get weary, but God never gets tired or never fails and he NEVER gives up on me. (Isaiah 40:28)
In my next “moment,” I want my reaction to be different. I want to fall on my knees in prayer and rest in the knowledge that God’s in control. I want to rely on God’s strength and wisdom in situations and decision making. I want to move towards Jesus, bringing all I have to him. I want to be caught running through a rainstorm of hope, mercy, and grace. I want those things to deeply seep into the dry cracks of my life so there will be no room for dissatisfaction. Time and practice. Mistakes and lessons learned. The only room I want left will be for love, flourishing and growth through God’s strength and his promises.