Hope in Returning our Focus to God

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God’s first response to Elijah’s misery was to nourish him physically and spiritually. This communicated God’s deep love for Elijah. God wasn’t only concerned with Elijah doing the jobs place before him – God was concerned about Elijah as a person He deeply loves.

After nourishing Elijah, God invited Elijah to unburden his heart. God’s response was to reveal himself to Elijah through a gentle whisper, inviting Elijah to join Him. In other words, Elijah needed to stop focusing on his problems and start focusing on God again.

This is the same pattern God used with me last week. First, I needed to be reassured that He still loves me, even though I had blown it in many ways. A part of me sought to run and hide from God, but He opened His outstretched and invited me to be comforted by His embrace. Only after this reassurance of His love and nourishment did He move me to the next phase of restoration, which was returning my focus to Him.

Think of the focus of a camera with a zoom lens. A panoramic focus shows the who landscape, including the trees in the valley and the mountains towering behind them. The cameraman can zoom the lens in so that one tree fills the entire frame, which removes the mountains from view. That’s how we are when we stay focused on our problems. They fill our entire focus, and we block God out of the frame. However, if we will simply zoom out by changing our perspective, we will see that while our problems (like the trees) are still big, our God (like the mountains) is much bigger.

This is what God did for Elijah. In his exhaustion, he temporarily lost sight of the enormity of His God. He detached from the spiritual reality that He is loved and protected by a mighty God and focused solely on the physical threat. God’s response was first to nourish him and then to invite him back to a more accurate perspective of the situation.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace standing in front of a mountain. Courtesy Bitmoji.]