I apologize for the lateness of this post this week. My computer is in for repair, and I am writing this post from a library computer at this very moment. Recently my personal computer began to work very slowly, and it would spin and spin while trying to connect to a new page on the internet. I was first told it was mostly due to a congestion problem in my town. My provider is working on putting in new equipment, but at the moment they are unable to always keep up with demands for internet service especially at peak time. I also discovered, however, that there were issues on my own personal computer which was interferring with good and speedy connections to the internet.
These events in my life made me wonder what kind of outside congestion we are allowing in our personal lives which prevents us from hearing the still small voice of the Lord. This reminds me of an Old Testament Bible passage in I Kings that I have learned to love.
In I Kings 18 the prophet, Elijah, had just won a wonderful victory in the power of the Lord and for the glory of the Lord. The wicked queen, Jezebel, however, was unhappy abut this; and she was intent on killing Elijah. Elijah was afraid and was running for his life. At that point Elijah said to God, "I have had enough, Lord. Take my life." (I Kings 19:4)
Have you ever said something like that, dear caregiver? Have you ever said, "I can't do this any longer. I have had enough."? Yet God provided strength for Elijah through food and His encouragement, and Elijah went on with his journey (I Kings 19:5-9). In the struggles and heartaches of family care-giving; you too must take time for physical and emotional refreshment, dear caregiver. You must soak yourself in the spiritual encouragement of His Word and not be influenced by the congestion of the world's voices and your own negative feelings and thoughts.
Next Elijah found himself hiding in a cave. It was and is symbolic of the cave of discouragement and despair. Have you ever found yourself there, dear caregiver, as you seek to navigate the difficult paths of family care-giving? I found myself there sometimes as a caregiver for my husband. It was difficult seeing my husband deteriorate and become more and more disabled in his body. It was difficult struggling to meet his needs.
Yet God's Word came to Elijah in his cave of despair and said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (I Kings 19:9b) Elijah's reply was that he felt very alone in his trials (I Kings 19:10) Do you ever feel all alone in your care-giving duties, dear caregiver? I know I did. Sometimes I still feel alone as a widow.
Yet we know God is with us each step of the way. We are NEVER alone! God said to Elijah, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." (I Kings 19:11) But the exciting part of this story is that the Lord's voice was not in the wind that the Lord allowed. It was also not in the earthquake and fire that followed. It was in the Lord's "gentle whisper." (I Kings 19:11-12) Elijah was instructed to get up, walk without fear and self-pity and obey God (I Kings 19:15-18) God also encouraged Elijah in the process.
Dear Caregiver, listen for the "gentle whisper" or still small voice of the Lord. Do not let the congestion of the voices of the world around you or your own negative feelings and thoughts discourage you or block the Lord's gentle whisper telling you that He is with you. You are never alone, dear caregiver (Hebrews 13:5b).