Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. —1 Kings 19:3
A poster on the door of a first-floor restroom at the Geisinger CMC hospital in Scranton, PA, provides helpful information. If you or someone you know needs to safely leave a situation involving domestic and/or physical abuse, the peel away contact notes are a Godsend.
Maybe you don’t need an exit strategy. However, others do.
1 Kings 19 provides hope for those who are exiting or need to exit. Inclusively and importantly, 1 Kings 19 also provides hope for us all.
Elijah is fleeing. He likely feels he isn’t running toward the Lord. Fearful, he’s just on the go. Like a mouse in a maze, he experiences snap decisions. Which way? Left? Right?
He leaves behind both people and things as he scurries. Then, exhausted, he collapses.
“Enough,” he cries to the Lord. “I am no better than my ancestors. Let me die (verse 4b).”
What does die is Elijah’s fear. What returns is his faith.
The particulars in Elijah’s story are his. Each of us has our own particulars, too. But as Elijah met the Lord in a plea, we can meet the Lord in peace. How? Our exit strategy, like Elijah’s, is also an enter strategy. In fear or faith (or both), we will meet the Lord, even when we may not think of this at first.
Run, scurry, waltz or walk at a pleasurable pace if or as you must, but in your journey learn what Elijah learned: you’re moving toward—not away from—the Lord.
PRAYER: We pray for those who need to safely leave abusive situations. Help them to safety, LORD. And yes, help us all find You. Amen.