How Will You Respond?

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. - I Kings 17:1-5

In short, God said, "Go," and Elijah went.  And while we could spend several moments dealing with the importance of what these few verses say, I think we could spend even more time focusing on what they don't say.  So, let's look at that for a few minutes.

Notice that Elijah didn't question God about this unusual command.  I mean, going to the brook Cherith made sense since there was a drought in the land.  But the part about the ravens, well, let's face it, that's just strange.  Ravens are stingy creatures.  They fight over the smallest scrap of food, so the likelihood that they would actually bring food to Elijah without eating it or fighting over it is a miracle in and of itself.  I believe Elijah knew enough about the nature of ravens to know that this was highly unusual.  Still, He didn't question.

He didn't ask to see a blueprint of God's entire plan.  When will the ravens feed me?  How often?  What will I be eating?  Will there be enough?  What about when the drought gets worse and the water of the brook dries up?  Then what?  What exactly do you have in mind, God?  Sad to say, if I had been Elijah, this would have probably been my response.

Not only did Elijah not question God, but neither did He argue with God.  Again, if I had been in Elijah's shoes, I probably would have had a bit of a tantrum.  "You can't be serious.  You want me to go hang out by a brook and eat food that the birds bring me.  Gross!  What if it's cold outside or really hot?  What am I going to do for shelter?  Why can't I go home to my nice, warm house?  I'm doing your work, and this is the thanks I get?  I don't mean to be rude, Lord, but I think you should know that this is not what I signed up for.  I was happy with the way things were.  This little detour is not part of my plans."

Oh, but Elijah is such a wonderful example for us.  He didn't question.  He didn't argue.  He didn't pitch a fit or cry about how life's not fair.  He simply trusted and obeyed.  God said He would take care of Elijah, and Elijah took God at His word. . . even though he didn't understand.  And with that faith, Elijah took action.  He didn't need any more information.  He didn't need to know the entire plan.  He only needed God, and with that, he obeyed the strange command.  And if you follow out the story, you'll see that everything worked out just fine for Elijah.  No, life may not have worked out the way he had planned, but I think if we could ask him, Elijah would say it worked out better.

Whatever you're facing today, whatever God has asked of you, I beg of you to choose carefully how you respond.  You can question, pout, fuss and complain, or you can do like Elijah and trust that God is in control and that He knows best.  Then, in that knowledge and faith, step out and perform the task that God has called you to do.  It probably won't be easy, but it will be best.  Trust in God's plan, even when you don't understand it.  That's what faith is all about!