God will not leave us in our despair. He will not only move us out of our misguided attitudes, He will also show us the way back.
“And the word of the LORD came to him: ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ ‘I am the only one…’ Then a voice said to him… ‘What are you doing here,’ ‘I am the only one…’ ‘Go…I have reserved seven thousand.’ So Elijah went from there and found…” 1 Kings 19:9-19
Bruce and I have always lived in a small farming community in Charlotte, which has now grown up beyond recognition. When our children were small and the cows grazed it seemed that everyone knew each other in our little piece of the world. But when we began to experience the darkness with our first born, I was confident that everyone was well aware of our situation. It was the loneliest place in the world, and other than Bruce I felt like I was all alone in our community. Like Elijah, my emotions had colored the reality of my situation. Like Elijah, I felt as if I was the only one experiencing a child making poor decisions. Like Elijah, I was the honored guest at my own pity party. It wasn’t until I had moved beyond that experience that I realize my perception was only that…a perception. I look back and see the 7,000 who God had reserved to surround me and provide for me…first and foremost my partner in life who always supported me…my parents and sisters who always prayed for me…my best friend who never judged me…my church family who was always there for me. I wasn’t alone, and I certainly wasn’t the only one who was experiencing this heartache.
It is so easy for us to go through heart wrenching experiences and feel as if we are the only one going through it. Through our ‘I am the only one’ spirit, we invite the evil one to waltz right in and join the party. His party conversation echoes what is in our minds and hearts...I’m the only one whose child is out of control…I’m the only one who has lost a parent…I’m the only one who doesn’t have a job…I’m the only one who has no one with whom to share my life.’ The banter goes on and on for a while, but then God, who loves us more than we can comprehend, shows up, turns on the lights and declares the party over… ‘What are you doing here? Go…’
God will not leave us in our despair. He will not only move us out of our misguided attitudes, but will show us the way back. He goes ahead of us and has orchestrated His perfect plan for us. He has placed people in our lives to be part of that glorious 7,000. He has arranged for circumstances to occur that provide manna for this day…hope for that day…faith for the delivery of our situation. What is our part to receive the blessing of the 7,000? We are to open our eyes, look around and see who God has provided. We are to give thanks for who we have in this season, and trust God for who He has already placed in our future for latter seasons. We cannot be afraid of the future and we cannot be cynical about the past. God has reserved for each of His children His full bounty, but we cannot receive what we do not believe...we cannot find what we do not search for.
‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see. Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots…’ 2 Kings 6:17