Everyone had own their way of dealing with the ruthless King Ahab, but few would have confronted him head
on like Elijah did. Not only that, but he brazenly called forth a drought throughout the land in the name of the
Lord. With that done right in the face of the ugly Ahab, Elijah made tracks out of town in a big hurry and
headed for territory unknown, lest his life end in an untimely manner. So here’s this man known for his
exceptional faith and called a prophet by many, off by himself walking mile upon mile in the scorching heat
with not a chance of one tiny raindrop to quench his thirst, thanks to his own calling forth such, and he’s
headed literally to “God knows where”. He hadn’t a clue as to how this would play out and this was not
pleasant. He couldn’t turn back because he was
a wanted man.
Everywhere he looked there were obvious signs of famine. The ground was dried up with long cracks going
in many directions dividing the hard clay into chunks, making it difficult to walk. Nothing was growing for lack
of water. Not even tumbleweed flourished. The people he met along the way were dying from starvation. He
meandered aimlessly yet determinedly until he had all but given up hope and questioned his own actions.
Suddenly God’s ancient voice arose from nowhere and instructed him to head for the Cherith Brook where
he would have all the water he needed, and ravens would bring him his daily food. God would lead; Elijah
would follow. At last a concrete plan. The relationship seemed to be working again. Maybe he had done
something right after all.
It was far from an easy trek, and weeks later he arrived at the designated brook dehydrated and critically
weak, but he soon revived with plenty of fresh water to drink, and that evening ravens did indeed come and
drop meat and bread for him on a big flat rock in the dell. The refuge was like a little Garden of Eden,
cradled in green ferns and vines. Little creatures were busy with their chores, a testament that God was
protecting His innocent ones even during the drought. And the ravens - he never saw from where they were
arriving even though he kept careful watch, and he couldn't imagine where the meat and bread could
possibly come from excepting by the hand of the Lord. Surely God was his refuge and strength.
It was wonderful while it lasted, but in short time Elijah could see that it was coming to an end. He would
again be off on his continuing venture of faith: back to the grind. Too much of a good thing just never seems
to last. We’ve all had our moments of ecstasy, splashing around in cool waters in some place of refuge,
even if just in our minds, but a reality check is always just around the corner. Refreshing ourselves in the
presence of the Lord renews our strength and resolve.
“For those who wait upon the Lord will get fresh strength. They know they can spread their wings
and soar like eagles. They can run and without getting tired, they walk without stumbling.”