Think back to time in your life when something in your life, maybe without warning, dried up. Everything was running smoothly, then suddenly, the wheels fall off. Maybe you had a job you really enjoyed for twenty years, you had even been recently promoted to manager, when suddenly one day your boss walks in and tells your job has been eliminated. After gathering up your personal belongings you quietly leave the office. Or maybe you unexpectedly get diagnosed with cancer. IN both cases you say to yourself, “Didn’t see that coming.”
Sometimes we find answers to the unexplained events that occur in our lives, but other times, they remain mysteries. If you are a follower of Jesus you probably in those moments find yourself asking God, “Why?” We propose that maybe a better question to ask is, “God, what are You doing in and through this situation? What are You teaching me?”
As God leads us on the journey He has for us, He opens and closes doors, trying to lead us in the right direction. God doesn’t ask us for our opinion, nor does He really have much concern for our opinion. God only requires us to be obedient, even when it doesn’t make sense.
A story in the Old Testament gives us a good example of this truth. 1 Kings chapter 17 begins with the prophet Elijah announcing that because King Ahab “did more to arouse the anger of the LORD than all the kings of Israel before him (1 Kgs 16:33)” a drought would come upon the land. This announcement brings anger to Ahab and the LORD then instructs Elijah to “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan (1 Kgs 17:2).” The Lord goes on to tell Elijah that the ravens will bring him food and the brook will supply his drinking water. The text tells us that he had plenty to eat and drink. (The word “kerith” means “cut off, hidden.” Elijah was cut off from the rest of the world. Sometimes God has us in a hidden place, cut off from life so we can rely solely on Him.) Then the wheels seemed to fall off.
We read this in 1 Kings 17:7, “Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.” We are sure that Elijah questioned God and said to himself, “I did not see that coming.” But God had a plan. He sent Elijah to Zarephath to have an encounter with a poor widow in which the LORD turns what appeared to be not enough not just into just enough but into more than enough. We encourage you to read that story, found in 1 Kings 17:7-24. What God did for the widow He wants to do for you today.
What does this Kerith Ravine moment mean? If God had led Elijah directly to Zarephath, he (Elijah) would have missed something that helped him to become a more effective prophet and a better person. He would have missed living by faith at Kerith, relying solely on God.
So today, when your brook dries up, know that your faithful and loving God is using it to grow you and make you more like His Son, Jesus.
New Bern, North Carolina