And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9b-13
Did you get the first and last questions? “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah was on the run. He had seen the prophets of the Lord slaughtered and now he feared for his own life. Things just weren’t going the way Elijah thought they should. Frightened, alone and hiding out in a cave, Elijah called out to God.
God told Elijah that He was coming to talk to him. Elijah waited while a mighty wind (like a hurricane or tornado probably) tore through. Elijah waited while an earthquake shook the foundations of the earth. Elijah waited while fire ravaged the land. Then, and only then, did Elijah hear the ‘still small voice’ that came as a gentle whisper.
I am often amazed at the phenomenal word pictures the Lord uses to explain things to us. Despite the persecution, fear, isolation, death and destruction surrounding Elijah what did he do? That is the very question God asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The answer… Elijah was waiting on God. I find it really encouraging that Elijah wasn’t distracted by the disasters surrounding him. Elijah waited, focused on what God was going to tell him. If Elijah can stand and wait through raging winds, horrific earthquakes and ravaging fires certainly I can wait through a cranky child, dirty bathroom and burned potatoes. I can turn off the t.v., put down my sewing and silence the ringer on the telephone. Waiting on God, as it was for Elijah, will be of greater benefit to me than any other ‘thing’ in my life. Putting away the distractions and quieting my heart, mind and soul will allow me to hear what God has for me to do.
When God says, “What are you doing here, Stephanie?” I want my answer to be, “I am waiting on you Lord, call and I will follow you!”