By Miriam Drennan
So [Elijah] said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Isreal have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your alters, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; as they seek to take my life.” – 1 Kings 19:10
White pelicans are fairly lone creatures, due in part to the way they must drain their pouches after catching fish. The process can take up to a minute, giving other sea birds plenty of time to steal the pelican’s food from its mouth. These uninvited dinner guests will take every last morsel from their host, so it’s no wonder white pelicans prefer to dine alone.
Do you identify with the pelican? Does it seem like the world just takes and takes, leaving you to starve mentally or emotionally? In some ways, you are no longer fed? Maybe it’s your family, friends, work, church commitments, even social engagements . . . or all of the above. No one seems willing to step up and help, and you’re alone in the chaos of it all. Okay, but some of it may be self-created.
Elijah was frustrated with God’s people and ready to give up. The Lord pursued, asking him why he fled. Elijah’s response was to talk about all that he’d done for God—or not done against Him—and that he was the only righteous man left. The last man standing.
Now, keep in mind that Elijah chose a life of isolation. Fleeing to the desert was just a geographical form of it. And by doing so, he was abandoning those who were faithful and supportive, even if they were outnumbered by the wicked and corrupt. In all fairness, Elijah’s life was, indeed, threatened, but he’d left those who were counting on him.
If you’re familiar with the story, you know that God directed Elijah to stand in His presence. God then sent great winds and hurricanes, but Elijah did not find God in the calamity. He was found in the very small voice that followed. The voice directed Elijah to go back and enlist help.
God knew Elijah was worn out, and He knows you are too. But we are to honor our commitments unless He directs otherwise. You won’t find answers in the calamity and chaos. Listen instead for the still, small voice that may be telling you to go back and enlist help.
Lord, when it comes to _________________________, I have been feeling like that pelican. I’m trying to do what I think is best, but it’s never good enough nor quick enough. It seems like everyone wants to just take from me without any regard for whether it’s right or fair. Give me strength to confront them and humility to enlist help. And, Lord, I release all of this to You. So I ask for discernment, should Your answer be that someone else needs to take this mantle from me.
Excerpted from Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan. Thomas Nelson ©2012. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson, Inc. www.thomasnelson.com.
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Miriam Drennan is a freelance writer and, by God's grace and providence, works in print, broadcast, and web. When she's not putting words together, you'll usually find her at the dog park with her pups, Sophie and Chance. Visit her at www.that-writer.com. Send Miriam your comments.
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