A Place of Dependence
Most kids are completely comfortable being dependent on their parents. I realize there does reach a certain age where they desire a bit of independence. And that is healthy.
I cannot help but think about when Jesus instructed that if anybody wants to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, that they must be like a little child. Most who read this (me included) will interpret faith into that context. Our faith must be as simple and pure as a child’s faith. I’ll agree with that.
But what about how a child is utterly dependent on parents?
As independent as we want to be as adults, and while we might not want to admit it, we are dependent on God to provide what we need. We cannot save ourselves from sin. We cannot renew ourselves like He can every morning. And while we may think we “bring home the bread”, it is He who enables us to perform our jobs and serve others that provides the finances to bring him that bread.
In the story for the kids lesson this Sunday, Elijah was commanded by God to “turn eastward, hide yourself by the brook Cherish. It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” 1 Kings 17:3-4 What I find fascinating is that the brook that was to provide for Elijah was more of a wadi. A wadi is only water filled in the rainy season.
Um – this was NOT the rainy season!
Rewind back to 1 Kings 17:1 “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” By all rights, this brook should be bone dry.
Set the brook aside for just a moment.
Let’s examine the ravens. In verse 6 it says that the “ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he (Elijah) would drink from the brook.” Ravens providing?!?! What a minute! Ravens are scavengers, not providers! Their typical modus operandi is consumption, not provision!
So let us take a step back and really look at what God is asking Elijah to do. He is asking him to go to live by a brook that is only wet during the rainy season (and it is not the rainy season) AND trust that a bunch of scavenger birds will provide both bread and meat for him to eat.
Everything in this story screams WHAT!?!? This doesn’t make sense. And most times it doesn’t make sense to us. His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts. God takes Elijah to a place of preparation where Elijah learns complete 100% dependence on God. And God provides! In His sovereignty He demonstrates to Elijah that He is all sufficient for not just some needs, but ALL needs!
I am convinced that there are times in a Christians life where we need to be in a place that we find ourselves forced into complete dependency on God because we’ve forgotten that we are truly 100% dependent on Him. I am also convinced that there are also times in a Christians life where God moves us through circumstances that necessitate our complete dependance on Him in preparation for what He has coming up for us to do next. In whatever manner He wants us to serve, He wants us ready.
And this is the circumstance with Elijah. Elijah is being prepped for seeing God provide in big ways as he takes on the prophets of Baal.
Do me a favor today. Examine what’s going on in your life. Look at the circumstances and don’t ask God why, but ask Him what? Begin exploring what God is doing in your life – He is always doing something! It could be that God is preparing you for something. The preparation time where we learn to be completely dependent on Him is just as important if not MORE important than what He is preparing you for! He is all sufficient and able to provide exactly what we need.
We can certainly trust God, no matter the circumstances or how crazy things look! And believe me, they will look just as crazy as a dried up wadi and scavenger birds! But just watch as God does the impossible from the world’s view, but is totally possible for God when we choose to rely completely on Him!
Carve out some quiet time today. Don’t need to pray or read scripture. (Although these are important!). Don’t pray to just hear your own words. Instead do what Elijah did after he was threatened by Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-3) Be still. It was not that God was in the gentle breeze or whisper, but that Elijah was able to hear God speaking to Him BECAUSE there was stillness.
Find stillness today with God and find everything you need in His all sufficiency!