Elijah had gone to the mountain looking for God.
He'd been ready to give up. Ready to lie down and die. He saw no hope, no future, no point in going on.
Then an angel told him to go to the mountain. And Elijah was there, waiting for God. But he didn't know what to expect.
A powerful wind came, ripping apart the very rocks that made up the mountain. Surely this was God! But no, God wasn't in that wind.
Next there came an earthquake. As Elijah felt the very mountain tremble, he must have been certain that this was God revealing himself. But no, God wasn't in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire. Again Elijah looked for God. But God wasn't in the fire.
Then came what the King James Version translates as "a still, small voice." A whisper. A barely audible murmur with a question on its breath: "What are you doing here?" (1 Kings 19:12–13)
Elijah poured out his tale of woe, telling of his faithfulness to God compared with the unfaithfulness of the people around him. He told of the queen's persecution of God's prophets and her specific efforts to kill him. He explained to God that no else was faithful, not even one. Only Elijah was left.
That's when God explained to Elijah that he couldn't see the whole picture. That God was doing things that Elijah didn't know about. That God had plans in motion, some of which included Elijah. And there were still six thousand people faithful to God that Elijah wasn't aware of.
Have you ever reached that point where dying seemed to make more sense than living? The extreme of frustration and hopelessness that leaves you doubting whether God Himself can fix your problems?
Maybe you need to go to the mountain. Go looking for God. Don't expect hurricanes or earthquakes. Don't expect to be swept in a holy fire. Listen for the still, small voice. Listen for the question: "What are you doing here?"
And once you've poured out your heartaches and your fears, you may just find that God is doing things you don't know about, both in your life and the lives of others.
But you'll never see it, if you don't look for Him.
(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)