The COVID-19 pandemic is taking an emotional toll across America. This is heightened because there is no clear end in sight. In light of this, I started to ponder Scriptural teaching and examples about perseverance.
The most powerful account that came to mind centers on the Old Testament prophet Elijah, found in 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19. After viewing this meditation, I encourage you to read these moving chapters.
In this account, the prophet Elijah experienced a great victory over false prophets, only to find his own life threatened. Elijah fled, being strengthened by God on his journey.
Once Elijah had hunkered down in hiding, he expressed his deep frustrations and anxieties to God. He said he felt isolated and alone, like he was serving a hopeless cause.
Sound familiar? Anyone else feel a sense of isolation? Of being alone? Is anyone else struggling with hope, given we don’t know when we’ll have the “all clear” to establish a “new normal”? It’s wearing on us all.
I think the most important lesson from Elijah is that God strengthened him. God miraculously provided Elijah bread and water. In the midst of isolation, God is providing for us as well. This is most powerfully seen through leaning on God’s Word.
The Lord chose to not simply tell Elijah to persevere. Instead, God provided direction that helped Elijah cope when he felt hopeless and alone
First, the Lord gave Elijah tasks. I dare say, that is practical advice for us as well. Each day, we can choose to do something that honors God and is personally meaningful.
Second, God assured Elijah that he was not alone, telling him that there are 7,000 others in Israel who have not worshipped false gods. Brothers and sisters, we are not alone. It is possible that, during this season, we are praying more than ever for one another, our communities and our countries.
Third, God provided Elijah with a partner in ministry, another prophet named Elisha. We can also find a partner to virtually walk with us through the remainder of this pandemic. A daily phone call or text message could suffice.
God is faithful. The Lord has proven faithful in the past, s faithful now and will be in the future. The Lord is leading us through this pandemic.