Thanks to God’s kind and gentle dealing, Elijah crawled out of the cave. “He departed from there.” God graciously nurtured him through rest and refreshment, gave him some wise counsel, and made him feel significant again. Talk about compassion!
Then God allowed Elijah to pass his mantle to Elisha, his successor. But God did more than that, abundantly more. For Elisha “arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.” God not only gave Elijah a successor; He also raised up a close, personal friend—someone who loved Elijah and understood him well enough to help and encourage him.
God has not designed us to live like hermits in a cave. He has designed us to live in friendship, fellowship, and community with others. That’s why the church, the body of Christ, is so very important, for it is there that we are drawn together in love and mutual encouragement. We’re meant to be a part of one another’s lives. Otherwise, we pull back, focusing on ourselves—thinking how hard we have it or how unfair others are.
Elijah reminds us to look up:
Let’s look up after the Lord graciously delivers us from depression.
Let’s look up when He allows us rest and refreshment following an exhausting schedule that has taken its toll on us.
Let’s look up and thank Him when He gently and patiently speaks to us from His Word after we’ve climbed out of a pit of self-pity.
Let’s look up and praise Him when He faithfully provides the companionship and affirmation of a friend who understands and encourages us.
Let’s look up and acknowledge the Giver more than the gift.
Let’s say, “Thank You, Lord, for telling us all about Elijah,” who is an unforgettable example that there is nowhere to look but up.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.