I am grateful that God has intervened in my life and helped me to learn to live well despite addiction, depression, anger and a multitude of other things that have, in the past, ruled my life and tried to swallow me up.
This intervention on God’s part required some things that were nothing short of miracles. The rest of the world can look in and say, “Meh, routine stuff being exaggerated.” But I was there. This was real God telling the storm to be still stuff. This was Elijah calling down fire on the mountain top power from Heaven.
I was done. I was at rock bottom for the “nth” time. Then God came and rescued me in ways I could never see possible. This was my own personal collection of miracles.
But inner demons are persistent. They don’t just lay down and die and, honestly, that isn’t what becoming a mature Christian is about. We are not overcomers because our opposition gives up, we overcome because the one that is in us is greater. There are going to be clashes, battles and all-out wars.
After Elijah’s mountain-top display of God’s power, he was threatened with death. He got scared and ran and while he was running he lost sight of what happened up on that mountain. He lost sight of God and cast his gaze upon his problem and his own weakness.
1 Kings 19:3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.”
I can’t count the number of journeys I have taken into the wilderness. I’ve sat in the shadow of whatever I could find and hid in its darkness. I’ve cried out, “I’ve had enough!”
In my mind, I feel my suffering is the ultimate, the pinnacle of all pain, the end of all life but, in reality, it is the place the miracle begins. Life’s miracles are nothing without the proper starting point. It they start too soon I fail to see God in what happens next and God is always almost late.
Here in the wilderness, God spoke to Elijah. He fed him and gave him rest and got him ready for a new journey.
My own personal wilderness was a place I feared much, at times I still do. I felt that when I ventured there that it meant I was a failure and a fraud. So, I did anything I possibly could in vain attempts to avoid the wilderness. Now, I am finding that God meets me there as surely as he meets me on my mountain-tops. He is with me wherever I am and if I must go into that depression, those sad seasons that my life takes me, he will go with me.
Suffering is not what ruins my life, it is where I turn for help that determines if I live life well or if I make it worse. There is hope in my depression and a brighter future hidden in the shadows of my broom trees.