Sometimes our journey in life can be solitary. Other times it’s so crowded you can’t see your own feet. Life is fluid. It’s always changing.
Take a look deep into the ocean; there is always a current, fish are always swimming, everything is constantly changing; a cycle that is always remaking itself. Even land has its seasons: changing, growing, developing into something new. If you’ve ever seen the devastation after a forest fire you know the desolation that can encompass a vast environment…but wait two years – though it may seem like a long journey, suddenly there is new life, new company, and a new beginning….and when it returns it has the possibility to be even more beautiful than before.
Faith…our journey alone and our journey with others is always ebb and flow. At one moment you are surrounded, you’re enjoying the journey with the people on your level – the next your alone, starting a solo journey of growth – and, still others are ones of devastation when the people that surround you are there to plant new life within you – even still there are times that you are the one that meets a solo journeyer on the road of life that you are to water and grow.
Your journey has a purpose. Even in the black after a forest fire, life lingers. Even when there is no one to take the journey with you there is growth.
Look at the story of Elijah. He was a mighty prophet for the Lord; a wonderful example of our journey with God, ourself, and others.
1 King 17:1 ~ we find Elijah prophesying,
“As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, except at my word.”
Can you imagine prophesying for the Lord!? He gives you instruction as clear as the words your reading right now! WHAT AN AMAZING AND TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE! Just after Elijah prophesy’s the Lord speaks to Elijah…
“Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” 1 King 17: 2-7
His journey went solo, completely dependent on God, no one to uplift him or feed him. A lonely road you might say, but it wasn’t. He was fully reliant on God and God was always with him, meeting his needs and providing for him. Sometimes our roads, for whatever reason, are suddenly solo. We feel like we are alone, with no one to feed us or up lift us. But if you look hard enough at the situation, you will always see the hand of God, no matter how desolate the road feels. Keep your focus, keep your faith, God will not fail you; he may be pushing you to grow, separating you out to teach you something that is “soul-ly” yours!
Elijah’s journey is about to change, he needs someone and God puts that person in his path.
“The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 1 King 17: 8
So Elijah’s journey changes. The Lord commands a widow to provide for him. Now his journey encompasses someone who is there to feed and uplift him. God brought the two roads together for this time that she may feed and water Elijah. Sometimes our journeys are solo, and other times our journey is met by someone who is there to feed us when we need it most. God it the author of our lives and we have to trust his hand, even when we are uncertain of our path. – The widow was there to feed Elijah but soon the story changes.
“So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 1 King 17: 10-12
What a gloomy situation. The widow God chose to feed Elijah couldn’t survive even on her own. Her sacrifice to serve another was her greatest sacrifice of all, her and her son’s life. You never know what the person sent to encourage you is going through themselves. Always be thankful for what God brings to your table, no matter how small it may be. – There is about to be a huge turn around, however. Suddenly the person sent to serve Elijah is the one who will be needing something.
“And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth. So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.” 1 King 17:13-15
Her obedience to serve brought a blessing upon her home. The Lord feed them for many days. Your journey with yourself and others is guided by your obedience and faith. But we don’t have an audible voice telling us where to go, which path to take, and who to speak to; we have to believe by faith the people put into our lives are there for that season for a reason. We push people away because of insecurities, because of hurt, or because we are overwhelmed. Sometimes they may be the people we need the most. But, sometimes relationship slip away and we fight for a little while to keep them going, but ultimately they end, no reason given. We have to learn to walk away, having faith that the Lord is in that too.
Ok – so here comes the big change – a role reversal. Suddenly the woman providing the care needs care!
“Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, “what have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son? And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him on his own bed. Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have you also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son? And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, Let this child’s soul come back to him,.” Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” 1 King 17: 17-24
How the tables turned! Now Elijah was uplifting the woman. Your journey crosses paths with people that are there to help you and other time you are there to help those who paths you cross. And, sometimes you are there to help each other!
What a journey…from solo, to need, to help. Elijah’s journey crossed all paths. From masses to the individual. No matter where your journey is at, your call is to have HOPE, and by HOPE ~ FAITH. Your journey may seem crowded, or lonely, extremely needy or extremely needed. No matter where you are, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, so that you can give and accept help, and so you can grow in and rely on God.