Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reflecting and Remembering

I have been taught (by some hard lessons) that people are not good at reflecting and remembering. The church sacrificially helps a family ... and the family remembers when it is time to ask for something else.  A pastor walks the road of death and loss with a family and when times get difficult or the pastor has an issue it is like nothing ever happened.  Elijah might have thought about this in his depression in a cave when he, just after destroying the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18), found himself running for his life from Ahab and Jezebel.  He is tired, beaten down and he is ready for his time of service to end.  Then God asks a question.  "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

This question is a puzzle that requires both reflection and remembering.  The reflection comes when we look at the question.  Maybe it means "Why are you in this particular place?"  Why is Elijah holed up and reclusive when God has plans for him?  The question could mean, "How is your presence here doing anything productive?"  Elijah has lived his life at the calling of God and now he may be hiding from those duties and actions.  Elijah must reflect and though he gives God his sob story God is having none of it.  God says "go back" and realize that there are 7,000 who are faithful to Him.  Reflecting on the present (things are not as bad as you think) and remembering the past (what happened on Mt. Carmel as the prophets of Baal were destroyed?) allow Elijah to walk into his future and the future of Biblical prophecy.

The remembering comes as Elijah is thinking about a God who speaks to him ... remembering the God has always been there when Elijah cried out ... knowing that the God who commissioned him is still the God of a solid remnant of believers.  Remembering re-tells the story of God's work among His people.

It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves and get caught up in self-pity.  God causes us to reflect and remember so we can get caught up in His work in the world.

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