Friday, 13 September 2019
“So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there.’”
That difficult time in your life has the power to transform you!
Elijah was at a brook called Cherith in whose banks he hid during the early part of the three-year drought. The brook dried up and God sent him to Zarephath.
I believe that these two places had significance in Elijah’s life and are places we will find ourselves in during different seasons of life.
‘Cherith’ means ‘cut off’. It’s a place north of Samaria. It’s a desolate place in the rocky wilderness. This is a place where Elijah would have had to learn to depend on God to meet all his needs.
‘Zarephath’ means ‘smelting place, refiner’. A place where metals were put into the furnace and tested in order to purify them and to make weapons. Here Elijah had to learn to trust God and draw on his strength to perform miracles (for the widow—to keep the oil and flour flowing and to bring her dead son to life).
In both Cherith and Zarephath Elijah had to trust that God knew what he was doing. That God had a purpose and plan for him to be there.
When we are in the midst of our desert seasons we can often start to worry about when and where the job, the financial provision, the answer to prayer, the healing will come. Oftentimes anxiety comes and visits, fear stays over for tea and depression watches Netflix with us in these seasons.
These are not easy seasons. But they have the potential to refine us. They show us what is really in our hearts and in whom we trust. They have the potential to purify us and make us ready to be used by God.
We often put Elijah on a pedestal as the super prophet—a status unreachable for mere 21st century Christians.
Yet nothing is further from the truth. Elijah was just a guy who was faithful to God and responded to his desert seasons well.