March 21, 2012

The Piercing Question

 Elijah experienced a triumphant victory on Mount Carmel—a glorious success for the Creator. The children of Israel were turning their allegiance back to God after worshipping Baal, 450 prophets of Baal were slain in a day, and rain was falling after a three-and-a-half-year drought.
But joy and gladness quickly turned to fear and terror when the prophet learned of a death threat from Queen Jezebel. Despondent and disillusioned, Elijah ran through the desert for 40 days. He traveled nearly 300 miles before hiding in a cave on Mount Horeb.
Alone and burned out, Elijah wallowed in discouragement. Despite witnessing the rain stop and rivers drying up, despite being fed by ravens and having meals cooked by an angel, the travel-worn prophet lost confidence in God’s protecting power. He wanted to die.
At this point of deep despair God posed the piercing question: “What are you doing here, 
Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9).
In a still small voice God assured the prophet that he was not alone. There were 7,000 Israelites who had never worshipped Baal, and the prophet’s mission was yet unfinished.
Too often life’s problems and pressures get us off track. Disappointments and failures bring doubts and despair. It’s times like these when Satan seeks to shake our faith and we question our beliefs. But just as in the days of Elijah, God poses the same question to us today: “What are you doing here?”
God, through the Holy Spirit, stands ready to clear our minds and renew our focus on His mission. No matter what our station in life, God has a task for us to help build up His kingdom. However, God does not leave us alone. As we place our trust in Him, He assumes the burden and responsibility for our success.
As we walk in faith, He walks by our side.
Carlos Medley is online editor of the Adventist Review. This article was published March 22, 2012.