Today I have been feeling a bit like Elijah in this passage (1 Kings 19.1-9): at the end of my reserves of energy, wandering alone in the desert. But this evening I feel like God has given me what I most needed, just as he did to Elijah. I have been to my Sevens Group, which is like an oasis in the midst of all the crazy busyness. There are five of us (used to be seven, hence the name!) and we eat and drink together, laugh together, pray for each other, and above all sit together in silence, trying to be attentive to God’s presence. It was just what I needed.
But it wasn’t what I wanted to do this evening. I wanted to curl up in a corner somewhere and ignore the world. I went because I said I would (and because it was my turn to bring the wine!). And however reluctantly I arrived, by the time I left I felt centred in God again, not completely, but just enough to carry on.
And that got me thinking. So often God doesn’t give us what we want or what we ask for, but what we need. Just as he does to Elijah in this passage. Elijah asks God for death, but what he receives is the stuff of life. He thinks he knows what he needs, but God knows better. So often we complain that God hasn’t done what we asked him to, what we wanted. Perhaps we should stop and look instead at what God has done. It might just be exactly what we need.