10TH JUNE 2022
DISAPPOINTED? GOD MEETS YOU SILENTLY IN THE DISAPPOINTMENT.
1 KINGS 19:9-16
Today’s First Reading begins with Elijah fleeing, not only from Ahab and Jezebel but also from his place of ministry and the struggle it entails.
His fleeing shows his disappointment no wonder he says ,” I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left and they seek to take away my life.
It is impossible to live this life including the life of faith and not have some form of interaction with the reality of being disappointed in many forms and fashions.
In the book of prophet Jeremiah 8:18-22,the prophet is disappointed that people worship idols to the point of him having a crushed heart and in 20:7-18, Jeremiah still complains to the Lord saying that the Lord has deceived him.
In Luke 24:13-35,the two disciples walking Emmaus tell Jesus,” And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free.” We can be disappointed by people through their words and actions. Circumstances can also disappoint you when you expected something good to happen but it did not. Sometimes we disappoint ourselves by acting in a way that is antithetical to who Jesus is when you let someone get under your skin.
In today’s first reading, who has disappointed Elijah? Before we answer this question let us bear in mind that prior to today’s reading; Elijah has been on a victory tour. It was at his behest, at his call and at his command that God rained down fire at Mt Carmel, a fire so intense that it burned wet woods. This act alone cleared up any and all questions as to whether or not God was with him.
Despite this victory there is the reality of his call or vocation not bringing to an end his challenges which include being hunted down by the regime of the time and people not listening to him and God telling him to anoint Elisha to take over from him.
The once triumphant prophet of the Lord has temporarily lost his exuberant faith and sunk in dark despair. Elijah has experienced a crisis of faith that pushes him to give up on ministry and lie down with a desire to die.
What is the source and the secret of such great despair? The source is the thinking that being zealous for God should shield us from disappointments. What does Elijah do? He runs away from his call. We understand that in such moments we do not find God but rather God finds us. We hear that God was not in the strong wind. God was not in the earthquake. God was not in the fire. God was eventually in a still small voice asking Elijah, “What are you doing here?” With all that Elijah had undergone, he only needed a soft, still small voice.
God has met Elijah at his most trying and chaotic moment. What is your greatest disappointment so far as of late? How does it make you feel? This reading encourages us and reminds us that it is in silence where the presence and power of God are most identifiable and effective and soothing.