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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: July 25, 2017.

Have you ever been tempted to ask God for a refund?

Maybe not often. Perhaps only once for a fleeting moment. But most, if not all of us, have those times when our Christian Walk goes through some scary neighborhoods. Lonely parks. Some dark places.

It’s just a few steps off of the path before we start thinking, Is this faith thing really working out?

Sure. We want to stand tall. We want to finish well. We want to fight the good fight.

But sometimes life just beats it out of us. The world’s pressing in. We’re lashed with disappointment. People abandon us. Shadows overcome us. We experience failure over and over again.

We understand both intellectually and theologically that bad things happen to good people. Yet when that good person happens to be us, the wounds are real. It hurts. It debilitates.

And then the guilt and shame sets in when our lives aren’t matching the storybook. What kind of Christian are we? Aren’t we supposed to bring light in the darkness?

Sometimes the most precipitous letdowns comes right after our mountaintop experiences when we reach something we’ve been striving to achieve for so long. Then when it finally arrives and the confetti settles, we wonder, So this is it?

In the Book of Kings we discover Elijah, one of the great prophets of the Bible, in this place of hopelessness. Elijah was tired and believed his enemies and struggles to be too much to bear. He was finished. He wanted to end it all.

Ironically, his despair came shortly after he had defeated hundreds of false prophets in a showdown of… literally…Biblical proportions. It can come quickly. From the tallest mountain to the deepest valley.

He ended up in a dark cave when he heard this message from God:

“What are you doing here, Elijah?”

The great prophet responded honestly:

“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.”

Elijah was then instructed to “stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord” and it was there he witnessed the awesomeness of God.

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. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

As you can imagine, this display of power and might reminded Elijah in a profound manner that he had no enemies greater than God. He had no struggles which could not easily be overcome through faith. And perhaps most succinctly, he wasn’t alone. And to chisel this message deeply, he heard the words once again:

“What are you doing here, Elijah?”

It was all Elijah needed to see and hear. He picked himself up and once again went on about the business of serving God in a mighty way.

As Believers, when we find ourselves in these caves of life we must be sensitive to the ever present voice which whispers in our ears:

“What are you doing here?”

Our faith never abandons us. We abandon faith.

When we take the focus off of ourselves and place our eyes on the greatness of God the darkness is overcome by the light.

Even through the most difficult of circumstances we are never defeated. We’re just between victories.


Looking for more Michael? You might also enjoy The Terrible Truth About Christians



Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction, non-fiction, journalism, copywriting and documentary production. He is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency.

He is the author of a series of Irish historical novels published by B&H Publishing Group. These highly acclaimed books are available in bookstores and libraries across the nation and beyond.


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