What’s happening here? Elijah experienced a huge letdown. Even more, he experienced it in the midst of being faithful. He was wondering what he did wrong and if he was the person that he thought he was, if he was the right person for the job. Perhaps he thought to himself, “I did something wrong; it is my fault,” or, “I have been let down by God.”
“Jesus is not limited by the length of time you have been in your condition nor by the severity of the situation you face. Once he puts his hand on you, you will be set free.”
Simply put, “For Ignatius, the ebb and flow of consolation and desolation is the normal path of the Christian life.” There will be times of consolation – when there is a sense of noticeable, personally experienced growth or blossoming, when God’s presence seems close and the means of grace seem easy and quick at hand. There will also be times of desolation – similar to the “dark night of the soul” – when, whether from wrongdoing, or attacks of the enemy, or times of struggle or challenge, God’s presence seems distant or even simply absent, when our growth seems stalled or the habits that sustain us feel unusually heavy.
‘Whenever we recognize who God is, we are praising him.”
Where will you go this week that you will be grateful to have God’s presence with you? What difference will it make to have God with you in that place or situation? When you are discouraged or terrified, how easy is it to make the choice to be strong and courageous?
I wondered how hungry the man was to steal an egg salad sandwich from a convenience store. I also wondered how he would have reacted to the customer’s kindness. He left without knowing his debt was paid. He was free to go. The food belonged to him.
There is a moment you stand on the brink, or the brink stands on you. The inexorable draw pulls you in, like gravity, like…
God always delivers a message in your misery and a word for your wilderness.
God wanted them to know that even though they were suffering, they were not forsaken. God wanted the people of Israel to understand that the hardship they were experiencing would not be the end of them. God wanted to give them a fresh start, a new beginning in their life, a relaunch, so to speak. By telling them, “forget the former things,” God was saying, “it is time to move on.”
While we can’t ignore the past – it happened – we can reframe it into a story of redemption by looking at it, by talking about it, by thinking about it through the lens of Jesus’ love and grace. We change our past by allowing it to be redeemed.