A PATIENT REFUGE 

Journal Entry by Brenda Jones

S – Scripture: 1 Kings 19:13, NLT
When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

O - Observation
Chapter 19 displays a beautiful picture of the refuge Elijah found in the Lord at a time he felt depressed & worn out. God has been with Elijah all along, from the high on Mt Carmel with the prophets of Baal & along the journey to Mt Sinai as he fled in fear from Jezebel. But it is the physical care afforded to Elijah that brings great comfort. Patience to allow Elijah time to rest; the supply of his basic need of food & water to strengthen him; a 40 day journey of contemplation; & not 1, but 2 opportunities for Elijah to pour out his heartache before the Lord. And all the while, God was there, patiently allowing Elijah to feel his pain & find the peace of the Lord’s presence as seen in verse 13, when he was ready to receive God’s response.

A - Application
The waiting times can be wrought with pain and desperation. They are times where depression can bring a deep sense of overwhelm, failure & inadequacy as Elijah displayed here. But I feel such a peace in what I can learn from Elijah’s experience:

1. I can trust God. He hasn’t failed me, or those who have faithfully gone before me. When the fear of opposition comes my way I can stand tall in His promises. But when my human weakness fails me, & I find myself in a place of fear & running away from all He’s called me to, I can rest assured He doesn’t condemn me. But rather is full of grace & mercy, restoring my brokenness & guiding me back to His plans & purposes for my life.

2. God is so patient & loving. He knows my needs when I am burnt out & have not even the energy to talk with Him. He doesn’t leave my side, even when I don’t recognise His hand & providence in my life. And His gentle hand brings me rest, strength, reflection & a listening ear during these times, to return me to the place of His presence.

P - Prayer
Thank You Lord that You are a patient refuge that we can run to in our times of distress. But that even when the pain of our situations can seem insurmountable, that You hold & lead us gently by Your mighty hand back to the place of Your presence. It is only in all You are, that I can find the strength to continue in all You have planned for me. Amen