Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Digital Detox (04/24/14)
TITLE: By the Brook Cherith
By Shanta Richard
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The tendency to sit and stare at nothing in particular , 'in vacant or pensive mood,' seems to dominate most of my time during those long dreary, snow-bound , winter days. In order to keep my mind active I indulge in enacting plays of Bible stories. One particular evening when the temperature hovered below zero I yearned for a warm climate. The picture that unfurled in my mind was that of the brook Cherith. Without dew or rain for three years it must have been a dry , hot,and parched land.
God had cursed the land, in punishment for the evil deeds of the wicked king, Ahab. He had sent the prophet Elijah to inform him of the curse. Aware that in retaliation Ahab might hurt Elijah, God had instructed him to hide by the brook Cherith, whose waters would satisfy his thirst and ravens would bring him food.
Elijah found a cave behind a huge tree. Some wild thorn bushes hid the entrance of the cave.Gathering reeds and dry grass he made himself a comfortable bed. Every morning Elijah would refresh himself in the cool waters and walk along the brook. By mid morning the ravens would bring him his brunch of bread and meat. When the weather changed from pleasantly warm to uncomfortably hot he would retire into the colones of the cave. This was his privileged time for enjoying God's presence , for praising and worshiping and conversing with God face to face.
I wonder if Elijah, the busy servant of God, missed the busy hustle and bustle of his home town? Did he miss the creaking of the wagon wheels, the yelling of the cart drivers, the loud cries of the vendors, shoppers arguing, women gossiping, children screaming and laughing, donkeys braying, goats bleating, crows cawing, hens clucking - all the noises of a busy town? Did the silence of the desert bore him? I don't think so. Even though he did not know it at that time, God was preparing him for a great commission, to perform a great miracle - and he would need God's power to do it.
Power comes with preparation, practice, perseverance and profound concentration. This entails discipline, focus and separation. The little cave was his training ground. Here he had no worry, no care, no stress. God's hands fed him, God's arms held him in a gentle embrace, God's heart enveloped him with love and peace. He felt the power of God course throw his veins and strengthen him for the mighty task ahead.
And that is how the mighty prophet of God stood on mount Carmel and proclaimed the supremacy of his almighty God,Jehovah.
Maybe that is the kind of discipline we need in today's world to make us powerful Christians. I have heard it said that we need to fast and pray. My mother defined fasting as giving up something dear to us as we seek something dear to God. In order to mature in my Christian life I would need to practice God's discipline. I should take time out from my daily demands of life, its stress, worry, and anxiety - disconnect all my digital devices - and enjoy the calmness and peace of God's presence. This might inspire me to be an effective vessel to proclaim God's salvation to the world.
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