Waiting… For Something Powerful

I woke up and looked around me. Blinking my eyes, I could barely make out the shapes in the darkness; large shapes looming in the gloom. My heart quickened. Heat washed through my body like a wave, fear almost choking me to death. I wanted to scream, I wanted to dart out of there as fast as I could. Jezebel had come to get me. Oh, she was right. I knew I could never escape from her. Her men surrounded me. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for the end. My heart felt like it wanted to rip out of my chest, it was beating so quickly. Fear rang in my ears like a bell. I held my breath, waiting. Nothing happened. After a few seconds, I cracked my eyelid open. Still nothing happened. I opened the other one. Silence. I stared at the looming figures closer. Rocks. Jagged, black rocks littered the ground in different shapes and sizes. Jezebel had not come to get me. I sank to the ground. Overwhelmed and relieved, I started sobbing. Huge breaths shook me as I lay weeping. I couldn’t take it. I lay there like a frightened child, the cave’s coldness seeping through my thin cloak. As I wept, a tiny voice inside of me came to life. God. Suddenly, my mind whirred to God. Oh he was there with me! He was right here! I gave a little cry of joy, and struggled to my feet. Right then, I realized how tired I was. My innards seemed to weigh a ton. I almost slumped back to the floor, but caught myself on a boulder just in time. My sandals had long ago worn out from walking in the desert for 40 days and nights. I had barely survived it. The only thing I had had to eat was before I started my journey-a few loaves of bread and a couple jars of water that an angel had coaxed me to eat. At that time, I had despaired. All my hope had been crushed, and I desperately had wanted to die. Uneasy feelings of doubt crept into my heart, but I shook the feelings away. I knew it wasn’t good for me to be depressed, yet my exhaustion and hunger made it hard to ignore. Right then, my stomach grumbled. I realized how hungry I was. The rough cave floor cut and scraped my bare feet, but I barely noticed. I stumbled blindly through the cave, onward and onward, trying to ignore the empty feeling in my stomach, my exhausted body, and depressed mind. A light appeared at the end of the tunnel, and as I neared it, it grew brighter and bigger until I finally stepped out into the light. At the mouth of the cave, I lingered. I could feel the presence of God. I smiled. A comforting, numbing, yet slightly scary feeling washed over me as I bathed in the Holy Spirit. All my pain and depression suddenly washed away as I simply thought about God. I stood there, like a dumb ox, and I thought later that if any traveler happened to walk by at that precise moment, he would have thought that I was crazy. It was then that I heard his words. “What are you doing here, Elijah?” The deep, rich voice resounded in my entire being. A sound so filled with love, that it echoed through my body, and out across Mt. Horeb, and I knew that here was where I belonged. No, I never got tired of God’s voice. There were times that I craved it. Yet the soft, comforting voice had a tinge of wrath to it. A wrath so great, that it could, and would, wipe out the entire unbelieving nation in one millisecond. A wrath so great, that it had killed thousands in the flood long ago. Wrath so great, it couldn’t wait for the day it would finally be unleashed. At that sudden thought, fear came rushing back into my mind. I nearly broke down in sobs again at the fear that overwhelmed me. It rang and shook me so badly, I ran over to a boulder and vomited all that was left inside of me. Wiping my mouth, I shook terribly at the mention of God’s wild wrath. And again, there was another side to His voice. One that carried unspeakable sorrows. It spoke of a Father who watched his children listen to a liar and disobey everything He had told them. One that held in all of the tragic events that had occurred, and ones that would come. A sound that told of God’s sorrow over his mistreated children. A tear slid down my cheek. God was so much more amazing than I could ever know. I mustered my strength, gathered my courage, and spoke bravely back to the Master of all creation. “Lord God of Armies, I have served you with all of my eagerness I possess. It breaks my heart to tell you that your people, the Israelites have abandoned your promises, disobeyed you, torn down your altars, and executed your prophets.” Another tear slid down my cheek, “I’m the only one left, and they are trying to kill me too.” I wailed, almost scorning God. Why was he doing this? Didn’t he know what was happening down on Earth? Didn’t he know how important I was? I was the only prophet left! He had to protect me! My grumbling stomach split the silence. On other occasions, I might have laughed, but this was serious. God’s voice hit me like a blowtorch. “Elijah, go out and stand on the mountain and wait for me.”
What?
I was going through pain and depression, and God’s telling me to go to the top of the mountain and just wait for him?? Nevertheless, I knew that God’s plan was way more bigger than what I could see, so I reluctantly climbed to the top of the mountain. Clambering over rocks and boulders, I finally reached the top. Exhausted, I threw myself onto the ground, panting. I noticed that it was more windy up here. After I caught my breath, I rose to the edge of the mountain. So now all I had to do was wait. Okay. How hard could it be? I awkwardly walked across the rugged surface of the mountain, and my beard whipped around in the wind. Okay, it was really windy up here. By the time I reached the edge, I couldn’t hear my loud stomach grumbles anymore. The wind whistled exceedingly loudly in my ear. I could barely keep my eyes open. I hugged my robe close around me. But the unforgiving wind whipped mercilessly against me and ripped the warm cloth right off of my back. I could barely see it flap away in the wind. It was so strong now, I couldn’t stand up anymore. The wind forced me to my knees. I sat hard on the rock. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a tree uproot and crash down the side of a hill. Surely, it couldn’t be that windy! The wind forced me down onto my stomach in an uncomfortable position. It whipped even louder and stronger now. I felt like it was going to drag me down the mountainside if I didn’t hold on tight. Suddenly I heard huge sounds, which I couldn’t believe I could hear over the wind. The fierce wind had actually tore some mountains apart. I could not believe my eyes. Rocks shattered and splintered under the pressure of the wind. My mind whirled. I thought that I was going to die. God surely must come now. I thought. I’ve been waiting for him, this must be him. But just when the wind got so strong that my fingers started slipping off of the boulders I was holding onto, and dragging me away, the wind stopped immediately. I laid there in silence. I waited. Waited for God to say that he had come. But apparently, that hadn’t been him. I barely caught my breath when all of the sudden, the ground where I was laying started to shake. For a moment I was stunned. How could the ground shake? My body shook like a cat shaking her mouse prey. I held on tightly, but it was hard to get a grip in all of the shaking. I tried to stand up, but failed. I couldn’t do anything but lie down in this rattling. Part of me wondered if this was what it was like when Jericho tumbled down. The ground beneath me split, and I couldn’t get away in time. I fell down a crevice of rock. Almost as if by instinct, my arms lunged for a cluster of boulders on the edge. I felt the hard, cold surface beneath my fingers as I grasped the edge for dear life. I hung there, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold on much longer; the shaking proved to be ruthless. My fingers started slipping. I thought that I was going to fall to my death. Somehow I managed to get a foothold on the shaking surface on the top of the mountain. Inch by inch, I made my way to the top. No sooner had I done that, the other side of the split mountain cracked all the way off and fell down to the world below. I watched with wide eyes. The cave that I had spent the night in was now no more than a dent on the surface of the mountain. My stomach churned. My mind rang with fear, and my body ached with bruises and cuts. “This must be God,” I thought. “He has come finally.” But God had not been in the earthquake either. Nevertheless, I still kept watch. A while later, I smelled something odd. I sniffed again. “It smells like something’s burning.” I thought. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw flashes of red and orange. I turned around. There, coming straight at me were huge flames of fire! I yelled and looked desperately around for something to put the flames out with. The wind had taken my cloak, and my sandals had worn out long ago. I hopelessly watched the oncoming flames with dread and fear. I saw them shimmy across the top of the mountain, and though their progress was moderately slow, they came closer, and closer. I backed up closer and closer to the edge of the mountain. I figured I would climb down the other side. No such luck. When I peered down, I stared at a sheer cliff face. No climbing down that. I turned to face my fate. So this was how I was going to die. Not by Jezebel or wind or earthquake, but fire. I felt the heat move intensely closer. My stomach grumbled, and my head raced with thoughts. The fire seemed so magnificent, even though it came closer still. Could this be God? I wondered. The fire felt so powerful, and beautiful even. God had not been in the wind, nor the earthquake, but surely God must be in this dreadful, yet majestic fire. I reassured myself. If this was God, He would not let me die right now. I waited for His voice to speak to me, but nothing came. Suddenly, just as the fire was a foot away from me, it all disappeared as if someone had put it out instantly. I stood amazed. God had not been in the fierce wind that shattered rocks. He had not been in the terrible earthquake that split the mountain in half. He had not been in the magnificent fire whose heat had made me despair. I groaned at the thought of what form God would take when He did come. It would surely be twice as fierce, and terrible, and despairing as the other disasters had been. I honestly wanted to run away down the mountainside. I had had enough drama for one day, I thought. Still, I waited. I obeyed God, because I knew that he loved me, and part of me was sure that however terrible the form was that God might come in, I would not die today. I waited. I waited some more. Finally, after what seemed like hours, something felt different. It was a comforting, numbing feeling, yet slightly scary also. It was the presence of God. I braced myself for what was to come. Suddenly, a tiny voice inside me came to life. It quietly whispered in my ear. All of my anxieties were swept away, and I stood, completely flabbergasted. God had not been in the form of massive winds, earthquake or fire, but in a quiet, whispering voice.

1 Kings 19:1-12 is the full passage this dramatized Bible story was based off of.

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