1 Kings 19:14-18
At the beginning of the new school year, the bulletin board outside the school counselor’s office had just three words on it in big, bold letters: “Just show up.” When I asked her about it, the counselor said, “For a lot of students, especially those who suffer from anxiety, just coming to school each day is a brave act.” As the school year unfolds, this great message takes on all kinds of meanings. Just show up for volleyball tryouts and see what happens. Just show up for the play audition and see what unfolds. Just show up for the tutoring session and see if it helps.
At this point in his story, the prophet Elijah is ready to give up. He’s done everything God asked him to, striking down the prophets of Baal for the sake of Israel. He’s been zealous, courageous, and faithful, but now he’s running for his life. He seems disillusioned and depressed. This could have been the end of Elijah’s career as a prophet, as well as the end of his life. God could simply leave Elijah alone and move on to other prophets. Instead, God has a different message for him: Go back. Instead of allowing Elijah to give up, defeated and afraid, God gives him another assignment. In other words, even though Elijah has given up, God isn’t giving up on him.
God isn’t finished with Elijah because God still has work for him to do. It will take a lot of courage and positive self-talk for Elijah to get out of the cave and move down the mountain, and it begins here, with God telling him that his story is not over yet. He’ll have to keep showing up to see what unfolds.
How do you challenge yourself to “just show up” and see what God does?
God, when I am ready to give up, show me a small step I can take in your direction. Amen.