In my four years of living in the Tucson area I have come to appreciate the desert, but I do not love it. My sojourn here, my temporary stay, has been much longer than expected or hoped. And as I look back, I marvel at the difficult times my family and I have endured here: joblessness, financial struggles, the death of my father, health issues for each of us, my own spiritual darkness…the list goes on. Maybe it is a blessing, but I do not always recall the depth of pain, anguish or struggle experienced. Likewise, I do not always remember just exactly how we persevered.
I was reading about Elijah in 1 Kings, Chapter 17. In this chapter, he has just given a not-so-cool prophecy to Ahab, the King of Israel, declaring that rain will not fall on the land until Elijah says it will. In fact, the land will be years without dew or rain. Now as you can imagine, once one delivers such unwelcomed news, it is often best to make oneself scarce. Elijah is directed by God to head east of the Jordan and to hide at Wadi Cherith where he will be fed day and night by the ravens and drink from the wadi. And he was. And he did.
His needs were met in that place. He did not perish. And what I love about my Bible’s study notes is we learn that today the exact locations of the Wadi Cherith and even Elijah’s home, Tishbe, are not known. He survived his time in the wilderness, but where? We somehow overcome obstacles, endure hardships, rise up out of grief, move on with our lives forever changed, but how? The journey is often long and yet somehow, thank God, we make it.
So much of growing spiritually comes out of traveling through the dark times. Trust that you are being provided for. Seek and count what blessings you do have. And keep God, whatever you conceive God to be, close to your heart. Wherever you are on life’s journey, know that you do not walk alone.