Friday, March 11, 2011

What are you doing here?

(*note* this is a repost from my barefoot bohemian blog, originally posted September 2008. This passage has come up for me again and again during spiritual direction and as a sacred echo in my life, and I thought it would be a good companion to yesterday's question, Where are you?)

Here's my heart take it where You will
This life has shown me how we're mended and how we're torn
How it's okay to be lonely as long as you're free
Sometimes my ground was stoney
And sometimes covered up with thorns
And only You could make it what it had to be
~ Elijah (Rich Mullins)

Sometimes God tells people to “Go!”

Sometimes God tells people to “Let Go.”

While reading God Whispers, I was captured by references to Elijah and had to spend some time with his story. Throughout 1 Kings 17 & 18, God is telling Elijah, leave here… go here…

Elijah listened. He trusted. He followed.

In chapter 18, he experienced the power of God in amazing ways.

Then in chapter 19, Elijah lost it. He gave in under the pressures of the world and retreated to the desert to lick his wounds. Even in such a pitiful state, the Lord cared for him through His angel, and even acknowledged, the journey is too much for you.

But the journey is never too much for the Lord.

We are told that Elijah was strengthened, and traveled (predictably) 40 days and 40 nights to rest in a cave in the mountain of God.

What are you doing here, Elijah?

As if the Lord didn’t already know the answer, Elijah recounted his woes.

The Lord, called Elijah out of the cave, where he witnessed strong winds, an earthquake and a fire.

And then
the presence
of the Lord.



What are you doing here, Elijah?

And the prophet of the Lord recounted the same list of sorrows he had before he heard the whisper.

The Lord looked down on His obstinate child, recognizing that, while it was hard for Elijah to let go of the fear and the hurt, that he still trusted in his God.


And Elijah went.

I haven’t heard the Lord tell me to “Go,” as much in my life as I have heard Him tell me to “Let go.” My whole life I’ve learned to let go of relationships, places, dreams, beliefs and securities. I didn’t always recognize His voice, but He always brought me through on the other side.

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. (psalm 54:4)

The Lord isn’t surprised by the fact that I’m human, and that sometimes the journey can be too much.

He strengthens me.

He reassures me.

He allows me rest.

He reveals Himself to me.

He questions me.

What are you doing here?

He listens.

And in a gentle whisper, He insists:

Let go. Trust me. Follow.

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