1 Kings 19:3a
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
My boy loves Sunday mornings - - minus the waking up part :> He knows it’s the special day in the week marked with pancake breakfast, best clothes, and going to Kiddiepointe – the Sunday School here. Nah, he’s not after the singing, or the bible stories, or being with other kids. What attract him most are the craft materials within his reach and how he can make dinosaurs out of it: clay, clips, colored papers, crayons, etc. And since SM is just across the street, we often stroll around - and stop for toys - just before heading home. Last Sunday was another happy time for him. He can’t wait to culminate his morning with the doughnuts we bought from the stall. Walking ahead of us towards the gate - carefree and proud - all of a sudden, the neighbor’s dog appeared. So did his fears. The cheerful morning was forgotten and his anticipated afternoon, like him, froze to death. It took us quite awhile to thaw him, haha :>
Could it be that Elijah thought Mount Carmel was the culminating part? As God’s persecuted prophet, his journey has quite been on his expected track: provision by faith, change locations, firsthand miracles. He saw God through it all. He believed God will be faithful to see the work completed – that is, the turning back of Israel from sin, and to Him. Elijah was elated seeing Israel confess ‘The Lord, He is God’. He probably was in tears when God showered the cracked land with rain. Finally! It was worth all his sufferings and sacrifices. He ran all the way to Jezreel as a free man. His thoughts could be his next assignment or a good rest at least. ‘Anything!’ His heart was just so full and overflowing. The last thing he expected was to receive a death threat from the queen. All of a sudden, the glorious past and the great future were eaten up by the gruesome present. His confidence crumbled, his faith faltered, and his hopes gone. He ran for his life. First to Judah then to the desert. But neither could guarantee his safety. His heart was frozen and longing for death. No one would ever believe he was the same, brave prophet just days ago.
1 Corinthians 10:12 warns us with this: ‘If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!’. In reference to Elijah, it was his high hopes that his ministry was finally in fruition. That what’s next to God’s great work in Carmel will be greater still. He was caught off guard and self-absorbed. Ahab was not the only who easily forgot God’s power over creation. How many times have we seen and praised God for granting us success in the workplace but worry the next day when sickness befalls our family? We’d better take it if the scenario has always been low and sobering - - for the prayer posture was still bent and accustomed. The moment we’re brought uphill and down again, how come we feel disillusioned and betrayed? Are we angry because He did not continue His good work? From whose vantage point? If Elijah kept his discipline, Jezebel’s bark would not threaten him. The 95 miles ran was unnecessary. Like Peter, he was already walking on water, towards Jesus, but still he looked elsewhere. How’s your gaze?