As Christians, we will often say that we trust God, but in reality, we trust in the plan we think God should follow. And then when our lives take shocking turns so far from our expectations, our foundations shake. Our peace evaporates. And everything in us wants to run and hide and stop trusting God.
This is where we find Elijah in 1 Kings 19:1-5. God has just used Elijah to prove to the nation of Israel that He’s the one true God in a miraculous and powerful way. Elijah must have been on a natural high seeing God do what he expected God to do.
But how quickly Elijah’s absolute trust in God evaporates with one death threat from Jezebel. Verse 3 tells us that Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. His desperation came from unmet expectations. Elijah assumed Jezebel’s reign would come to an end after the dramatic deliverance of the Lord. Yet, that was not the outcome, and in that place of unfulfilled expectation, fear ultimately crumbled his faith.
Even though Elijah experienced the miracle on Mount Carmel, he still succumbs to the fear of persecution. Elijah flees into the wilderness, and falls short in terms of both faith and affection for the Lord. Even so, the Lord deals graciously and gently with Elijah, drawing him close with a whisper and giving him instruction of what to do next.
God didn’t fix things the way Elijah thinks they should be fixed but He does lead them, and He leads him back through the wilderness (verse 15). That’s often where God takes His people to teach them His perspective that blooms into deeper faith.
The Lord gives Elijah a second chance to face the same struggles before he ran and hid, except this time it’s the right perspective and faith. Elijah sees God’s plan is good even if it isn’t the way Elijah would have done it, And the same is true for us. God’s plans don’t have to match our plans for then to still be good.
Whatever life comes are thrown at us that seem unfair, unreasonable or hurtful, beyond what we can bear, let God whisper His truth that He is good. He is good to you. And He is good at being God.