General,  Lessons,  Pandemic,  Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial,  Waiting,  What I'm Reading

Are You In-Between?

Right now, we are in-between two winter storms…just waiting to see what comes next. We’ve not had a storm like this in years. And, are we surprised? Kind of just the next issue to face in year 2020-2021!

So far, we’ve not lost power as we continue to be covered not with snow, but ice! But will this second wave of snow and ice change that? Kind of like being in limbo and waiting for this next storm.

Has this past year made you feel a bit like you are in limbo in lots of ways? You aren’t where you used to be in pre-pandemic days, but not where you will be in post-pandemic days? Of course, that’s a part of life in general, but it’s been so obvious as this year has put so much of life on hold.

I am in the middle of a study of Elijah by Priscilla Shirer. May I just say, it is SOOOOO good.

She shares insight about Elijah and his “in-between”…between Israel where he came from ( 1 Kings 17) and from his eventual arrival at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18). Elijah’s first “in-between” was the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. This was a wadi that was often dry due to drought. Yet this is where God told him to go.

I didn’t realize that Elijah was there a long time…at least a year! When you read his story, it may appear as though these things happen quickly. But it’s at this dry place (sound like quarantine perhaps?) that God showed up, and kept showing up until it was time to move on. One way God showed up was by feeding and providing for Elijah using ravens. He also provided water in this river even though there was a drought.

This was a time of preparing for his eventual Mount Carmel experience as he learned to trust God daily for his food and water in whatever way God wanted to provide! His pride of taking care of his own needs has to dissipate until there was nothing left but dependance…and probably awe at God’s provision. He was kind of in a “nothing else” predicament! “Cherith” actually means a “cutting away” as Elijah learned to see his God as sustainer and shield.

And he chose to obey God’s directive to stay at Cherith until God gave him further instructions. His character was being strengthened and matured to prepare him for the next step toward Mount Carmel, which would also be surprising…a stop off at Zarapheth to visit a Gentile widow who had no food to spare, but gave it anyway. Both she and Elijah were amazed and encouraged by God’s amazing miracles! (1 Kings 17:8-24)

So what does this mean for us as we continue to be at least somewhat stifled by life during a pandemic?

  1. Seek to be content in this season anyway. Do you see a better choice? (1 Timothy 6:6, though this is alluding to greed, I believe the principle is one we can apply to contentment in general.)
  2. Grow in your humility of laying down your own abilities and trusting what God is providing in this season. (2 Peter 1:3)
  3. Allow God to fully “cut away” anything that will hinder the next step in your journey. (Psalm 66:10-12)
  4. Watch in awe as you see Him do above and beyond your expectations. (Ephesians 3:20-21).
  5. Understand, He is preparing you for the next step in your spiritual journey, and only He knows fully what that is. (Romans 5:3-5)
  6. Know the Lord has not abandoned you. He is right with you. Stop and recognized His presence and stand on His Truth. (Hebrews 13:5)
  7. Hold on, and keep holding on to Him. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  8. When He shows you the next step, take it in obedience even if it makes no sense! (Jeremiah 29:11)

If we let Him, God will use this “cherith” in our own lives to draw us to Him in a deeper faith and then use us to carry out His “Mount Carmel” assignment!

Watch for next week’s post about Elijah’s next delay in Zarephath. You can read that here and here.

Banner photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash


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