There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:9
Read: 1 Kings 19:9-10
Listen: 1 Kings 19
After Elijah is strengthened by the food God provided him, he journeys to Horeb and collapses into a cave. Elijah has been alone for over forty days and had plenty of time to think about what has happened. God approaches with a question, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
On its surface, this question may seem boring or unimportant. But it’s not. God invites a conversation. He invites Elijah to feel, talk and trust. He asks about Elijah’s heart and cares about the answer.
Elijah’s answer is surprisingly raw. God wouldn’t have asked this question if he couldn’t handle the answer. Elijah reminds God that despite his faithfulness, Israel rejected God, killed God’s prophets and intend to kill Elijah too. He’s discouraged and doesn’t hold back.
It’s easy to move away from God as we go through difficult seasons and focus on our problems. Stories like this give us a new vision for difficult seasons. They remind us that God wants us to be raw with him as well. He cares about our hearts and can handle hearing our concerns. The Bible tells us that God can be trusted, use our pain for his glory, is telling a bigger story, and will be with us always.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Spend some time praying a prayer of lament. If you don’t know where to start, you can pray something like this: “God I feel _____. These feelings and what I am experiencing make me wonder _____. In the midst of these feelings and questions, I trust you and know that you are still good. Help me to trust you. Draw near to me. Amen.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.