Lent Blog - part 2 : "What are you doing here?"

Lent Blog - part 2 : "What are you doing here?"

26 March 2024

What are you doing here?

In our last blog we reflected on the essential but incredibly difficult work of learning to stop and take stock of our lives and leadership. Particularly when we are tired and feeling burnt out.

In the first book of Kings, we read of the Prophet Elijah’s crisis of burnout and the question God posed to him when he finally stopped. The story is found in chapters 18 and 19, a time in Elijah’s life when everything came to a complete standstill and he ran away, deep into the desert. In a lonely cave on a mountain, God showed up. Not in the great wind, violent earthquake or blazing fire - but in a still small voice.

When Elijah heard it, he recognised he needed to draw closer and listen intently. Wrapping his cloak over his face, he went out to the mouth of the cave to hear what God had to say. Finally, a quiet voice asked him a pertinent question we all need to consider from time to time. Particularly in those moments of exhaustion and discouragement we all face.

The question God asks his weary prophet in the midst of a crisis of confidence and calling was this : “What are you doing here?”

The truth is, when we’re tired and our spiritual and emotional reserves overdrawn, negative thoughts and feelings can begin to dominate and it can be hard to find perspective.

This was certainly true of Elijah. When God asked him “What are you doing here?” the prophet was looking at his life through a very negative lens.

“I have had enough Lord” he said, “take my life, I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). 

Elijah felt like he had given his utmost, and it wasn't enough. He believed he was now the only one left on God’s side and that his former allies wanted to kill him. A deep sense of failure had permeated his thinking, draining him of all energy and leaving him utterly depleted. 

However, in the quiet; the sacred space of vulnerability and honesty that Elijah’s stopping had finally opened up - God offered a different perspective.

He reminded Elijah that he still had work for him to do and that he wasn’t alone; seven thousand people remained in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal. 

If you resonate with Elijah’s experience, why not take the opportunity (this Easter break) to be still and share honestly with God how you have come to be where you are at this moment.

Events or experiences may have knocked or exhausted you. Disappointments and failures may have robbed your energy. There may be drivers in your life that make it difficult to stop and be still.

Tell God about those things and then try to be quiet and hear what He may be wanting to say to you through them. 



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Posted on Monday, June 24, 2024 17:14 by Murray

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