Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, August 07, 2017

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Have you ever crawled into a cave? Elijah felt like a total failure. The weight and responsibilities of his task overwhelmed him. Filled with discouragement, he cried out, "I alone am left!" Almost all of us have times of crushing stress and anxiety, darkness and despair. There are times when we just want to crawl into a cave, curl up and lick our wounds. In Jesus and the cross, God is there, present with us in our darkness. You are  important to God. You do matter. Be assured, God is with you. Yet, there also comes the time when God speaks a strong word, "Go out." It's not easy. It's a real struggle to move out of our cave. Elijah waited through wind-splitting rocks, earthquake and fire, still no God. Finally, Elijah heard the sheer silence. Bliss. In the silence God whispers, "What are you doing here?" Here's the good news: "God so loved the world." You're not the only one left. Now that is a gospel that frees. You can let go now and let God. It's time to leave the cave, step out into the light and live again.

Forgive me, Lord, for forgetting I'm not the only one. Free me from this dark place and bring me into the light of your love, so I might reach out and trust others. Amen.

David P. Grant, '80
Interim Pastor, East Union Lutheran Church, Carver, Minn.

1 Kings 19:9-18 (NRSV)

9 At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
10 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
11 He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
14 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
15 Then the Lord said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram.
16 Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.
17 Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall kill; and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall kill.
18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.