Everyone goes through difficult and draining times…even those seeking God. (John 16:33) Some will recover from those times, while others will not.
In 1 Kings chapter 19, we see Elijah fearfully running. He wants to quit and die.
Was he exhausted after his battle on Mt. Carmel? Did his adrenalin bottom out after all the excitement was over? Was the queen’s threat to kill him the straw that broke the camel’s back?
The sad thing is, Elijah never really came back from it. After God replenished Elijah physically, He tried to get redirect his focus by asking, “What are you doing here?” But Elijah responded with self-pity. (1 Kings 19:10) So God reminded Elijah to Whom he was talking, (1 Kings 19:11-12) and once again asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?” (1 Kings 19:13)
At this make-or-break moment, Elijah could have turned his eyes off himself and back to God. He could have said, “I am here to serve you and bring you glory.” But instead, Elijah repeated the previous self-pitying speech. At that point, Elijah could no longer be the instrument God needed, and God prepared his replacement. (1 Kings 19:16)
We all will go through difficult, disheartening, and discouraging times that will take their toll on us and leave us depleted. And God will be gracious to minister to us.
But then God calls us back into the game by asking, “What are you doing here?” How we answer that question determines whether we get back in the game or are benched. At that moment, we need to realize we’re called to something greater than the cave we’re in.