What Only God Can Do
I remember a good friend once telling me that marriage was like having a mirror in front of you, reflecting back all of your flaws and sin. Someone else said that reflection gets even stronger when you have kids. I’d have to agree with both statements - my kids can’t stand waiting for anything, and I know I struggle with this too, especially when it comes to God. In my journey through chronic pain there have been times when it’s felt like waiting wasn’t an option, that I had to do something right now! Making decisions with that “right now” mentality has rarely led to the outcome I desired, and often caused even more problems and pain.
I don’t diminish at all how hard life can be, or how agonizing the apparent silence is when we’re waiting on God. Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries understands; it’s the topic of her devotional titled “What Only God Can Do.” She goes back to the Old Testament story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal for her example - Israel was in a time of extreme drought, and looking for relief - but in all the wrong places. Instead of seeking the one true God, they turned to the false God of Baal. The Lord then arranged a dramatic showdown via his prophet Elijah - the prophets of Baal built and altar, and Elijah built an altar, and whoever was able to call down fire had the real God dialed in.
Maybe you know the story - the prophets of Baal danced, screamed, and even cut themselves with knives to no avail - their god had no answer. Elijah then upped the game, dousing his altar in water before calling on the Lord, who consumed his altar with fire. The true God was vindicated in the eyes of Israel, and the prophets of Baal were destroyed. The message for us today?
Oh, friends. This passage holds such a strong warning for us. Especially when we find ourselves in a drought season, longing for relief — the reminder that no other god will do. No person, possession, profession or pain-relieving substance will ever fill the cup of a wounded, empty heart — not my heart, not your heart. It's an emptiness only God can fill.
I can’t say it any better than that. Maybe it feels overly simplistic, especially if you’re in the midst of one of the “fiery trials” the Bible warns will come, but it’s truth. In a world of lies and confusion, there’s only one safe place to turn, and his name is Jesus.