Hebrews 12: 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV)
There he sat in a lonely jail cell. Not a jail cell like today mind you, with a bed and cable television. There was no gym to work out his frustrations or access to higher education to pursue a college degree. And while everyone will tell you in prison they are innocent, he actually was. He did not do what he was accused of. In fact, he did the opposite! He took a righteous stand and was imprisoned falsely for it! Where was the justice in that? Days passed into weeks lying on a stone floor. Weeks into months staring at the stone walls. Months into blinding years, wondering if it would ever end. Somewhere behind this tapestry of misery, God was still writing Joseph's story.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, some may find themselves in Joseph situations. Where we feel like we have had enough. Where we sense that we are nearing the end of our rope and that maybe it is time to give in. Where we can no longer even see where God is in the middle of the chaos. But God is still writing your story too beloved. It may not have the plot we envisioned. We probably didn't see this chapter coming. But God still has the pen in His hand.
The Prophet Elijah had his own Joseph moment. Elijah had seen the mighty move of God in his life. He had seen God provide supernaturally, raise the dead, and just recently, defeat the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Haven't we all seen the mighty hand of God in our lives as well before this horrible disaster? Surely we can all remember the Lord's goodness in rescuing us from this world and the bondage of slavery to sin? But then Elijah faced his own Hurricane -- Hurricane Jezebel. He heard that Jezebel vowed to cut off his head and he ran away. He ran away as fast as possible. The Bible says he actually walked into his wilderness; something we can do too easily as well. After God sustains Elijah, He asks him what he is doing and here was where Elijah's head was at:
Elijah replied, "I have zealously served the L ord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too." -- 1Kings 19: 10 (NLT)
There is a lot of "woe is me" in this assessment. Isn't that how we can get too when we feel like we have had enough? We tell God how zealously we have served Him not because it was the right thing to do but so that we can make a point of saying we should not be going through what we are. It's like we say to God we shouldn't suffer any trial because we have done so much for Him. The second thing we do is we start to compare ourselves to others. That is what Elijah is doing here, no? First we tell God how much we have done for Him and then as a point of comparison we remind Him how horrible everyone else is! And finally, we wrap it up in self pity.
THAT is what the enemy wants when he whispers in our ears. He wants us discouraged. He wants us thinking that somehow we deserve better than the story God is already writing. He wants us thinking that somehow God has erred in where we are. As if he has fallen asleep at the wheel of our life and we should take over the driving. Like a friend once told me if God is your co-pilot -- then you are in the wrong seat!