“Dear God – my problem is so great that…” You fill in the rest.
The prophet Elijah faced such a problem. After witnessing the Lord’s power on Mount Carmel, and as the people’s cry – “The Lord – he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39) – rung in his ears, he may have assumed that his problems with idolatry had ended.
Then came Jezebel’s words: “May the gods deal with me…if…I do not make your life like that of one of [my dead prophets]” (19:2). Elijah fled. To him, his problem was bigger than God. He saw escape as the only solution.
It is here that the Lord provided Elijah with a valuable lesson. God sent powerful displays – wind, earthquake, and fire. But he was not in them.
Finally, Elijah heard a whisper: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (19:13). God was in that whisper. After Elijah explained himself, the Lord explained his plan. Elijah still had work to do. He would anoint two kings and he would also anoint his successor. Energized by the word of the Lord, Elijah carried out the plan. He learned that even his greatest problem was under the Lord’s control.
We have been like Elijah many times. When we face seemingly impossible situations, we often despair and search for solutions anywhere else but with God.
At times like these, we need the Lord’s assurance. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned” (Isaiah 43:2). And again, “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
God repeatedly assures us that he manages even our greatest problems.
Instead of praying, “Dear God – my problem is so great that…,” we may confidently pray, “Dear problem – my God is so great that….” You fill in the rest!
Jim Grasby is principal of Lakeside Lutheran.
Reach him at 920.648.2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org