Good News, You’re Not the Only One

How God helped Elijah get past his crippling sense of isolation
3 min read

Elijah replied…’I am the only one left…’

1 Kings 19:10

It’s a good thing perception isn’t always reality. It sure can function as reality, like when you perceive that someone is following you and that perception causes your heartrate to speed up and your hands to sweat. Even if your perception is wrong, it creates a pseudo-reality that your body processes as real.

Elijah’s perception that he was the only person of faith left in the land worked in the same way. As far as Elijah could tell, he was the only one who still believed in God and cared about being loyal to Him. Because of this mistaken perception, Elijah felt completely alone in the world. And feeling alone put Elijah in a dark place emotionally, to the extent that he had thoughts of dying (1 Kings 19:4).

Mind you, this was the same Elijah who, not too many days previous, had been on the mountaintop. His faith was humming and his prayers were being answered one after the other.

It was a hard day when Elijah woke up and found himself in a cave of isolation, literally.

What happened? Life took an unexpected turn for Elijah. His perception that he was alone sent him into an emotional freefall that bottomed out in a state of defeat, despair, and self-pity. The mighty man of God was reduced to a fragile heap.

Ever been there? It’s safe to say most of us have. This is why God’s Word assures us that we are not alone in our struggles:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Like Elijah, we are wrong when we think it’s just us. Other people who love God are also facing the same battles.

The important thing to remember is that God is just as faithful when we’re in the cave as when we’re on the mountaintop. He is our trustworthy Guide in both places.

The same opening by which we entered the cave will serve as our exit, our way out.

God showed Elijah the way out of his cave. Remember the scene? God told him to leave the cave and stand before Him on the mountain. Then God caused a series of dramatic things to happen right in front of weary Elijah – wind, earthquake, and a fire.

But when it came down to it, what got Elijah on his feet again was when God spoke in a “gentle whisper.” Though it was faint, Elijah heard God’s voice all the way down in his heart. He connected with God not in the sensational displays of His power, but in the subtle and undeniable whisper of God’s Spirit to his spirit.

Elijah was going to be okay.

Later on, God reassured Elijah that there would be “…7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” (1 Kings 19:18). In other words, Elijah had lots of company after all! I can imagine him thinking in that moment, “Hmmm…my bad, I thought I was the only one. “

Elijah felt alone, but he was not alone. His circumstances were difficult, but he wasn’t the only one in the predicament like he thought he was. Neither are you, friend.

Like Elijah, our faith odyssey will include both mountains and caves. Expect both. Sometimes God’s reassuring power and presence will be obvious, but when it isn’t, not to worry. For every cave, no matter how dark or difficult, there is an opening.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

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