By Shannon Redmon
Writers run scared sometimes. Like my friend Chelsea. She loves to write, but her fear of rejection has kept her fiction writing hidden away in the cave of her desk drawer. When I encouraged her to let others read her stories, she refused with the reason she was to afraid she wasn’t good enough.
Elijah, God’s chosen prophet, ran scared too.
This powerful prophet witnessed one of the greatest miracles provided in Bible. He built an altar of twelve stones, placed meat on top and flooded the sacrifice with twelve jars of water.
Then he prayed.
God sent fire from heaven to devour the meat, wood, stones, soil and the twelve jars of water poured over the sacrifice. Talk about an adrenaline rush.
But after a threat from God’s enemy, Elijah ran and traveled for forty days and nights into the wilderness and up to a mountain cave where he hid. While on the journey, he begs God to take his life. He’s exhausted, fearful and depressed.
I used to struggle to understand how Elijah could be “on fire” (pun intended) for God one minute and running away the next. Judgment comes easy when we look back on a Elijah’s situation and see him for the human man he was, instead of applying the message to our current lives.
How many times have we received rejections, discouraging critiques or missed opportunities, then tucked our tail and ran?
I’ve been guilty of retreating to my cave on more than one occasion, ready to give up God’s calling on my life to write, but then my heavenly Father provides comfort, shows up and gently draws me back into his mission to work.
God Meets Our Needs
God met Elijah’s physical need by providing bread, water and rest. He even delivered this heavenly meal, not by Grub Hub, but by an angel. Imagine that. God was in the delivery business way before our time.
Then he asked his servant, “What are you doing here?”
What a beautiful picture of our God providing for our needs, not only physical ones, but also emotional. Then he listens to Elijah’s answer.
His prophet was not in a good place. Some might even say he was depressed, fearful and frustrated. God gently reminds him that this dark cave, out of sight in the mountains, was not where he was supposed to be.
Elijah wasn’t meant to be hiding. He as supposed to be anointing kings and prophets, continuing God’s work, never to cower to an evil woman like Jezebel. Easier said than done.
Sometimes, we need a little encouragement, like Elijah. That’s when God shows up.
God Shows Up
When we win an award, get a book deal, or receive an amazing royalty check. We praise and thank him. He’s ever present in those moments and we believe life couldn’t get any better.
Elijah had his big moments too. God sent a powerful wind, an earthquake and a fire. Can you imagine standing at the mouth of a cave watching those things roll by. But Elijah recognized God in the quiet whisper that came after.
I often wonder what words God said. Maybe he reminded Elijah he’d never leave him alone no matter where he ran when he was afraid.
We hold to his same promise. God will show up for us when we’re fearful, feel alone or when we receive discouraging news about our writing.
He may even ask us, “What are you doing here?”
He had a plan for Elijah and retreating to a secret place in fear was not part of it. God instructed Elijah to return back the way he came, to anoint two kings and a prophet. Then He revealed that he was not the only one who still worshiped God. There were seven thousand others.
Elijah was obedient and returned to the work God called him to do. Will we do the same?Will you run scared from your writing? @shannon_redmon #ACFWBlogs #writing #writingtips Click To Tweet
Shannon Redmon has been published in Spark and Splickety magazines, the Lightning Blog, a Revell compilation book, and the Seriously Write blog. She has finaled in the ACFW Genesis Contest and won first place in the Foundation’s Awards. Shannon is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter @shannon_redmon, and Linked-In.