As Pastor Lauren shared this past Sunday, “wherever you go in life, there you are”, we all chuckled a bit at the seemingly nonsensical meaning of such a statement. And yet what a profound statement it was. Reminiscent of the sayings of Yogi Berra, famous for stating the obvious, there is a deeper meaning if we dare to look.
Where are you at today, friends? We did not get to where we are at by chance. Our sovereign God knew we would be in the very place we are in right now and He is with us. Wherever the road has led you, what will you do with the moments you have been given? That is the greater question.
And what will we do about the snakes we encounter? I, for one, am grateful Lauren did not bring snakes to church this past Sunday as an object lesson, but we do encounter "snakes" in our lives, don't we? Those pain points we just don't always know how to deal with. What then? Wherever you go in life, there you are.
After enduring severe persecution and seeing God's people stricken down, Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. Running from a wicked woman intent on killing him, we find Elijah hiding underneath a bush praying for God to take his life. Tough spot, indeed. And yet the LORD met him at that place.
After providing food and care for Elijah in that place, God asks a question. He knew where Elijah was and yet God asked him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Basically, how did you get here?
1 Kings 19:9-13 (NLT):
"And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
God asked the same question twice. Elijah was caught up in the moment and could not see that right there He had the answer to His problem-the presence of God. This is the difference we have when we walk with Christ. God is near. God is with us, no matter what snakes cross our path. And the road ahead is certain in an uncertain world when we walk with Christ.
What are you doing here, friends? How did you get to where you are at? Consequences from our choices might have had a hand in our current situation, but however we got to where we are, we can know that God uses it all together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:28) and He is with us.
The amazing thing is that we can talk to God anytime. Anytime. If you find yourself in a difficult spot, come to the prayer event this weekend. God is near (Psalm 34:18). And He hears when we cry out to Him. Are you currently encouraged, no snakes in sight? Wow. That's incredible. Come and offer prayers for others this weekend who need help. More details are here.
The good news for those who are in Christ is that wherever we are, God is taking us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) and not a moment is wasted as we seek Him in the midst of all situations at all times. Wherever we go in life, there we are. With Christ. We are never alone. Amen.