One Fellow Struggler

One Fellow Struggler

For those of us that struggle in the quest for significance, we are not alone. Elijah, the prophet of Israel, faced this battle in 1 Kings 19 in the Bible. If you are not familiar with the Bible, stick with me. I think you will understand where I am going, and will find the prophet someone with whom you can identify.

After years of authoritative ministry when threatened by Queen Jezebel, Elijah ran for his life gripped by fear. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, well South of Ahab and Jezebel’s territory, he left his servant. He abandoned needed companionship and perspective, while he continued into the desert. He came to a juniper tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. Listen to his self deprecating words: “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep (1 Kings 19:3-5 NIV). 

Why would a powerful prophet cut and run after his greatest victory, the confrontation at Mt. Carmel? Following the dramatic firefall, the people cried “The Lord He is God.” Afterwards, threatened by Jezebel the Queen, he realized that the expressed desire of the people to serve the one true God was only a sham, and conditions would continue much as they had been, an ungodly king and queen ruling a largely unbelieving nation. The death of his lifelong dream crushed him, and he yielded to despair, considering himself a failure, vocalizing, “I quit!”

Why would a person accept a verdict that places him far below the high place that God has for him?

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