You Are Loved!

1 Kings 19: 1-9 (NIV)

Elijah Flees to Horeb

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.

YOU ARE LOVED!

Last week, we discussed the personal pain Elijah was feeling after Ahab and Jezebel threatened to kill him. In addition, Elijah’s conversation with God also suggests that Elijah probably questioned God’s love for him. Despite defeating the prophets of Baal, Elijah’s personal adversaries were still alive. Elijah’s lament, that I am the only one left, reeks of feeling alone and abandoned. Somehow, right after a huge victory and in the midst of public celebration, Elijah felt alone and abandoned.
In many ways, this reminds me of the holiday season. In the midst of lots of celebration and partying, millions suffer from loneliness and disappointment. In fact, clinicians report increased patient visits for depression during the holidays.
Regardless of how frustrated and alone Elijah felt, 1Kings 19:4-9 shows that God really cared for Elijah and loved him. An angel was sent to feed and minister to Elijah until he was ready for his journey. In Elijah’s time of brokenness, God was close to him and directly cared for him. Why? Because God didn’t just know Elijah, God loved Elijah.
In this Advent season, please take time to remember that Jesus didn’t come into the world because of our perfection. Jesus came to be present with us and share during our times of brokenness as well. Indeed, Christmas is a time to remember that we are never alone. It is a time to remember that God still sees us and still cares for us. Why? Because in spite of the chaos and evil that seem prevalent around us, God still loves us deeply.
Cecil Lettsome

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