As Lee, Teresa, their baby son, Jesse, and their dog, cowered in their Oregon bedroom, Lee dialed 911.
The family had fled to the bedroom to hide from their 22-pound cat. The black-and-white Himalayan named Lux, had scratched seven-month-old Jesse in the face. Lee had proceeded to kick the cat in the backside, unexpectedly sending Lux into a rage.
Lee’s 911 call to report his “very particular emergency” best describes the situation from inside the bedroom: “I kicked the cat in the rear, and it has gone over the edge. He’s trying to attack us. He’s very, very, very, very hostile. He’s at our door; he’s charging us.”1
Events and experiences can drive us to places of fear, failure and fatigue. “What are you doing here?” is a question God asked an Old Testament prophet, Elijah.
This part of Elijah’s story is found in I Kings 18 and 19. He has journeyed 40 days away and deep into a lonely cave on a mountain. Interestingly, this crisis, along with the question God asked, opened the door for Elijah to have new opportunities and a fresh perspective. For Elijah, the word “here” posed in the question was a place of:
- Forgotten accomplishments
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Despairing of life
Elijah found himself “here” – a place of emptiness. He traveled nearly 100 miles to get “here” – a place where God did not send him. Elijah needed to be redirected because he was in a place of fear: The fear of being overtaken by his enemies. The fear of “I’m alone in this….no one else will help me.”
I would venture to guess that you may have reached those times as well. You may have said “I’ve got nothing left. I’m ready to throw in the towel.” Fear takes a physical toll on us. Notice what Elijah does – he goes to sleep. And when we are physically exhausted, our fears and doubts continue to grow.
God helped Elijah in four ways:
- He replenished him physically – a new opportunity of rest.
- He restored him spiritually – a new opportunity to listen and receive.
- He refined him mentally – a new perspective on the future.
- He reshaped him relationally – a new perspective on his role in life.
You can look at your life with human perspective or choose to hear God’s still, small voice and return to the place of his calling.
Take the first step towards God. Answer these questions:
- How are you handling fear and intimidation?
- What can you do differently when it comes to facing fear?
- What would it take for you to see your present place in life from God’s perspective?