IN THE MIDST OF THE STORM
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
1 Kings 19:11
You could make a case that friendship can save your life. It did for one of the most important figures in the entire Old Testament — the prophet Elijah.
You might recall the story. Right after the most triumphant moment of Elijah’s life — the Mount Carmel Smackdown (see 1 Kings 18) — the evil queen Jezebel threatens to kill Elijah. This is a brand-new development in the history of Israel. Before that, kings might have hated God’s prophets, but they would never dare to touch the Lord’s spokesmen. This is a whole new level of evil.
Elijah runs away in stark fear and then enters a phase of what psychologists call depression. He sleeps a lot and wishes he were dead. He is nearly suicidal. And worst of all, he feels utterly alone.
Like a loyal friend, the Lord tends to his needs. An angel brings Elijah food and water. Most of all, the Lord gives Elijah words of encouragement and an assurance of his presence. He also goes one step further: he gives him a ministry companion — Elisha by name. This friendship truly is a match made in heaven.
We all need the kind of friend that God was to Elijah — the kind of friend who encourages us when the darkness of this world threatens to overwhelm us, the kind of friend who reminds us we’re not alone. Yes, friends like this are truly a gift from God. Do you have a friend like that? ♦
Lord, I treasure the friends you have provided …