The Silence

by Anna Hartge

1 Kings 19:1- 15a, Galatians 3:23-29

Have you ever felt threatened and fearful like Elijah? You have done everything that was expected of you in your field of endeavor and now you are faced with enemies who threaten to destroy your life. Elijah complained because he believed he had zealously done what was required and he was tired of his life, so he went to the wilderness.. Just as God asked Elijah the question “What are you doing here?” – God will ask us the same question.

No matter what is troubling you in your life, running away, going into the wilderness, is not the answer. We can run without going anywhere – we run away from situations by inaction, ignoring the situations that face us. We can run into our own wilderness to get away from life’s pressures.

God may ask us “What are you doing here,” because we have allowed ourselves to get stuck. Perhaps we have retreated into our minds and shut out those around us. We may stop studying the Word, stop going to church, stop serving in ministry, stop reaching out to others because we feel like our ministry is taking the life out of us. We share Elijah’s view that we have done what we are called to do and yet feel the burden is now too much to bear.

“I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” 1 Kings 19:10

My assignment is to be an ambassador of racial reconciliation and to encourage, equip and empower others to accept the call. I believe that race still matters in our nation. Even those who confess Christ as Lord and Savior are uncomfortable addressing issues of race; and therefore, few people transform their lives to become genuinely accepting of those who are different. Galatians 3:23-29 is a powerful reminder to believers that we are called to be one in Christ.

There are many voices asking if it is worth it because it can be dangerous and thankless. My dream is to help create an atmosphere for healthy, respectful relationships to be developed and maintained among people. It is challenging, but God is faithful. God will still deliver us from the uncomfortable times and situations in our lives. God may not come in the ways we are accustomed to, but God will show up!

In 1 Kings 19:11-12, Elijah experienced a great wind – but God was not in the wind; an earthquake – but God was not in the earthquake; a fire – but God was not in the fire. Finally, Elijah heard, “the sound of sheer silence.”

Shhhhhh! Be still and know that God is still with you.

Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell

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