*First published March 1, 2009
1 Kings 19:11 The Lord said, " Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.
I was studying the story of Elijah where he becomes so depressed and overwhelmed that he asks of God, "Take my life," when this Bible verse jumped out at me.
I love being in the great outdoors. There is something about just sitting out in the yard looking at the sky, hiking out in the quiet trails, breathing in the cold air while shoveling snow, or sitting beside a stream. I cannot put words to the feeling I get.
This photo is of a street in Pilot Knob, Missouri, in Arcadia Valley. My Granny loved this place and every time I go there, I can see why. The hills that roll by as you drive down the highway are amazing. As you can see on this street view, it is almost as if the hills are so close that you can just drive right into the edge of them.
I have photos of my parents and grandparents and extended family visiting this town and climbing up into the mountains. Loving the great-outdoors is certainly in my genes.
The mountain that they used to climb is now prohibited to protect a cave of bats from extinction. I long to climb that same mountain some day, but know I am not allowed.
Maybe I love the quiet solitude of the great outdoors so much because that is where I can find God. Maybe I am feeling His presence. Maybe that is what Granny loved about her precious Arcadia Valley.
In 1 Kings 19:11 and 12, while Elijah waits for the Lord on the mountain, the Lord sends powerful winds, an earthquake, and finally fire, but in all those dramatic events, God is not there.
Elijah finally hears God in a gentle whisper.
There always seems to be so much drama in my life. I try to avoid it and not participate in it. I often listen only, but do not contribute to conversations.
Then there is the drama that seems to happen to me just because I am breathing. There is always something breaking down, needing fixing or replacing, surprises I could not dream of happening, and things I have to deal with.
Elijah has his fair share of drama too. He tried running from it. He tried asking God to take his life. The one person in the Bible who asks for his life to be taken is not granted his prayer. God is not done with him yet.
God wanted him to instead sleep and eat first, then wait 40 days patiently to be renewed and refocus, and then wait for the Lord on a mountaintop.
I need to remind myself from time to time what this story teaches. When my life seems to be crushing me, out of no doings of my own, I should first remember to take care of my health, then realize it may take more than a few hours or a day to recharge and refocus, and then wait on the Lord.
God wants me to get past all the drama first so that He can come to me in the quiet, on His timing, not mine.