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Daily Devotional

Yo-Yo: Roller Coaster (Bummed) - Wednesday

Posted on Wed, Mar 08, 2017

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
1 Kings 19:3
It’s hard to make good decisions when you’re running from something. After his epic victory over the 450 false prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, Elijah came eye-to-eye with an enemy’s death threat… and he ran. He didn’t stop to talk to God. He didn’t pray. He didn’t seek guidance or direction. He just ran, almost 100 miles away into the wilderness. He found a tree, slumped beneath it; then prayed, “God, take my life.”
I like this verse. I like the simple question God asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9b). It’s clear that he wasn’t in a place God led him to, but it’s also clear that God wasn’t  angry or judgmental. God didn’t punish him, or take him out of the prophet rotation. He simply met him where he was, in a very gentle way. The Bible says He spoke to Elijah with a still, small voice.... a whisper.  (1 Kings 19:13). It was as if God were saying, “You can’t hear my voice when you’re running away. Be still.”  
God has given me that same message, especially in times of discouragement and despair. The faster I run, the more I lose my way, until I eventually I crash and burn. But God gently says,  “Gary, what are you doing here? Aren’t you aware that I made you and love you? Don’t you remember My promises? Don’t you remember the times I picked you up, dusted you off, and set you on a better path? In spite of the pain, I’m still here, and I care.”   
When we’re depressed, we need empathy, not judgment. We need a fresh awareness of God’s presence, which is a spiritual antidepressant. Be still. God wants to communicate with you, and He wants you to know that your present situation isn’t your future destination. You’re gonna be okay.  
Max Lucado said, “If there were a thousand steps between us and God, He’ll take all but one.” That’s true. Be still, then… take a step toward your Father.

Gary Black
Teaching Development Director