Wednesday, October 21, 2020
When Everything Appears to be Dead,
and We Are at Our Wits Ends …
1 Kings 19:5-8
Then Elijah lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, ‘Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.’ He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
2 Corinthians 4:7
We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
Words of Grace For Today
Elijah is on the run, for his life. He has killed the prophets of Baal. In response Jezebel is out for revenge. So Elijah is on the run for his life.
Elijah is distraught and prays that God will let him die, for he has become no better than his ancestors who killed to try to make the world a better place … which never works. In the wilderness he lays down under a solitary broom tree.
An angel visits him while he is sleeping, and feeds him, twice, so that when Elijah wakes he has strength for the days ahead. For God has many things for Elijah to do before Elijah’s days on earth are completed.
There are days in most people’s lives where one has to think that exterminating that person or those people will somehow help the world be a better place. God save us from ever allowing those reactions to evil to be more than fleeting. God has other plans for evil people. God chooses to save them by forgiving them, redeeming them, and making them holy, agents of God’s will on earth. This is the double victory that Martin Luther King Jr. preached about attaining through non-violent protests.
Sweet such victory is, indeed.
It is nothing less than we could wish for all evil people. We would, especially I would, want God’s timetable to be moved up a bit, all the way to NOW, so that these evil people, doing these evil things, do not end up ruining us (too late for that for me) and eventually killing us (that’s sitting not too far on the horizon for me, just past a few -30 days after the medicine runs out and I cannot afford to get it refilled, the pain from GERDS disrupts every day functioning and cancer follows soon thereafter, if the reckless, angry drivers do not run me over on my bike as I peddle 25 km to town to get food, if my ex’s lawyer or the RCMP or even the Courts do not come up with yet another way to try to get me killed – never to do it directly, but to set it up so that someone else does the dirty work for them.)
Maybe my time on earth is up and God does not have any more work for this saint to accomplish. I rather think and hope not. Sweet rest it will be, when that day comes, but I think and hope it is not for many years yet … even though circumstances and enemies seem to want it otherwise … and soon.
Ah, that the human was not so susceptible to doing evil to others, and I could count on goodness, kindness and protection from the woman who pursued me, said she loved me, wanted me to provide for the children and for her, and promised to marry me; or from those who work to ‘protect and serve’ whose job it is to protect people from others’ crimes and lies; or at least from the Courts who are tasked with protecting the thin veneer of civilization from attack by criminals, deceivers, and liars. But no, not these or many, many others.
Only God’s miracles can save me from the evil from them directed at me … determined as they are to bear false witness against me to create a false story that I were a criminal, that I have not honoured the Courts, that I were not a good parent, that I were not an honest and kind person. Only God can save me, so come God, take your double victory soon, before it is too late.
What fragile vessels God created us to be. We humans think we are so important, so capable, so righteously rulers of our own destiny. In the universe God created we are but small, so limited, so incapable of ruling or creating destinies at all. We are so capable of wreaking havoc on others and the universe, but when it comes to good we wish well and do little to nothing.
Only God through Grace can bring us to do anything significant and good in the universe.
Thankfully God does just that: God saves us and them by forgiving us and them, redeeming us and them, and making us and them holy, agents of God’s will on earth.
When we think we have nothing more good to give, God sends angels of many kinds, in human form, or as other holy people, to feed us the bread of life, to give us the living water to drink. So strengthened we are able to continue God’s work in the days we have on this earth.
What a wondrous life it is, doing God’s will.