God Walks With Us

This whole COVID situation has been extremely taxing on almost everyone. Many say that the restrictions on staff and students within learning communities is completely unfair and unnecessary. It has had a significant impact on socialisation, sense of community, and in turn, on many people’s wellbeing.

For encouragement we can look to the Bible and try to emulate the great heroes of the faith. Take the prophet Elijah for example. He continually met opposition from his king and queen who hated him, fueled by hundreds of prophets who worshipped false gods. During that time of opposition Elijah did some pretty amazing things.

But in James 5:17 we read, ‘Elijah was a human being, even as we are’. Not a super-hero, not a famous Instagram influencer, but a human being, just as we are.

We know that God wants good things for us and sometimes we can see the result of that almost immediately. Other times though, there seems to be a long, drawn-out gap between the good we know God wants for us and that good actually coming to fruition. Its in those times, like the times we are in now, that we can easily get frustrated or confused.

Despite all the great things Elijah did, he also experienced a frustrating gap between the good God promised and that good actually coming to fruition. After three years of drought Elijah prophesied to king Ahab that a heavy rain was about to fall. King Ahab went off to celebrate.

…But Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.

‘Go and look toward the sea,’ he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

‘There is nothing there,’ he said.

Seven times Elijah said, ‘Go back.’

The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.’                                                                                                      (1 Kings 18:42-44)

When Elijah sat there, his head between his knees, repeatedly asking his servant to go and check if there was rain coming, I wonder what his body language was like? What was his facial expression? What was his tone of voice? The fifth, sixth or seventh time he told his servant to go back and look, did his shoulders get lower and lower and his voice more aggressive? Maybe he stayed resolute. But remember, ‘Elijah was a human being, even as we are’.

During this current drought of social interaction due to COVID, remember that like Elijah, we too are human. Being human means that we may get frustrated and overwhelmed. We may feel lonely. We may even feel angry and question whether the social drought will ever end.

But also remember that we don’t walk this journey alone. Remember that Jesus was born into this world to personally experience human suffering and temptation, but with one big difference. While we often allow our humanity to dictate our response to God and others, Jesus never did. Jesus perfectly trusted his Fathers promises FOR US. He resolutely trusted in his Father’s promises of hope and deliverance, even if it meant he had to go through the torture of the cross.

Jesus didn’t do this to set himself up as some kind of superhero of the faith that we need to emulate. Quite the opposite. He did it on our behalf so that we don’t need to prove ourselves before God (as if we ever could). Jesus also continues to walk with us every step of every day. He does so to remind us that we are loved, we are valued, we aren’t forgotten. Even though we may be going through challenging times, he is right there with us to help us trust that God is good and that his promises of hope and deliverance can surely be trusted.

Nurtured by the promises of God, may you be filled with hope and be empowered to embrace the future with confidence.

Stuart Traeger

Spiritual & Cultural Leader


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