Lately, one of the stories that has helped me understand my life is the Old Testament account of Elijah’s victory on Mount Carmel and the response that follows (1 Kings 18 and 19).
If you don’t know the story, Elijah, one of Israel’s prophets, challenges 450 prophets of Baal to a contest. It’s actually a pretty funny story, especially the way in which Elijah taunts the other prophets. My favorite moment is when Elijah suggests that perhaps Baal is “in deep thought, busy, traveling or asleep.”
In the end Elijah achieves a great victory, ends a three year drought and God gets all the glory. Then Elijah hears that one person, a woman named Jezebel, is furious with him. That news spirals Elijah into fear and depression.
One moment Elijah is standing on victorious on top of the mountain, the next he is hiding in a cave ready to die.
I’ve discovered that after great victories I can feel the same way.
Grace has been blessed with some wonderful mountaintop victories in recent weeks. Last weekend’s launch of Project Family is a great example. God is doing amazing things among us. There is much to celebrate.
Yet in the midst of those victories I can find myself tempted to listen to voices that, often through criticism, encourage fear and depression.
In those moments I need, more than ever, to listen to God’s “gentle whisper” of reassurance. When I listen it’s always there.