I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you” (Psalm 91:2 NCV).
Friend to Friend
Allan Emery, who served for many years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, shared an experience that made a deep impression on him. His father received a call saying a well-known Christian had been found drunk on the sidewalk in front of a local bar.
Emery’s father immediately went to pick up the man while his mother prepared the best guest room. Emery watched wide-eyed, as the beautiful coverlets were turned down on the exquisite, old, four poster bed – revealing the monogrammed sheets.
“But, mother,” Emery protested, “he’s drunk. He might even get sick.”
“I know,” his mother replied kindly, “but this man has slipped and fallen. When he comes to, he will be so ashamed. He will need all the compassion and encouragement we can give him.”
At one time or another, we all stumble and fall and need someone who is willing to show us the love of God. The apostle Paul had certainly experienced the compassion of God and wrote a letter to the church at Corinth, encouraging them to share that same compassion with those in need.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NCV).
The world sees only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope. When a child of God is in the furnace, make no mistake – God keeps His hand on the thermostat and His eyes on His child – just like He did in the life of Elijah.
Elijah is a great example of a man in need of comfort.
He had called down fire from heaven, proving the existence of the only true God and destroying idols and idol worshippers. He should have been celebrating. Right? Why was he so discouraged?
In a word…Jezebel.
Jezebel was the evil and influential wife of Ahab, King of Israel. Jezebel did not worship the one true God of Israel. Instead, she was fanatical in her worship of the pagan god, Baal, and tried to impose her beliefs on the people of Israel.
One man stood in Jezebel’s way – Elijah. When Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown on Mount Carmel, God answered Elijah’s prayer with a stream of fire from heaven. You would think that a miracle like that would have convinced Ahab and Jezebel to believe in God. It didn’t. In fact, Jezebel was furious. When she learned what had happened on Mt. Carmel with the fire and idols, she put a contract out on Elijah.
Now stop and think about that for a minute. One day Elijah’s the conquering hero, the next we find him sitting under a Juniper tree, wallowing in self-pity – and begging God to let him die.
Elijah had been in the presence of God. God had heard and answered Elijah’s prayer, putting on an impressive fiery display for all to see. Idols had fallen. The prophets of Baal had either fled or been destroyed.
And Elijah is worried about one angry woman?
Elijah needed to come back to the place of being desperate for God.
“I will say to the Lord, ‘You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust you’” (Psalm 91:2, NCV).
Elijah was exhausted and needed rest and the comfort of God. He found that rest and comfort while sitting under a Juniper tree, waiting in silence for God to show up.
I’ve been there, haven’t you? You may be there today – at the point of desperation, wondering if God will show up in your life. You may be exhausted and weary of life itself.
I have great news for you. God knows exactly how you feel, and He is with you. Cry out to Him and ask for His encouragement to fill your heart.
Father, I am so tired and desperate for You. Right now, I surrender every burden to You and choose to believe that You are with me and will lift me out of this slimy pit. I choose Your plan over all others and will listen for Your voice above the rest.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you really believe we can experience God’s love and compassion – even during the fiercest storm? Explain.
Looking back at the storms in your life, how would you rate your response to those storms? What changes do you need to make to experience victory?
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© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.