“What are you doing here, Elijah?” God posed this question twice to Elijah in chapter 19 of the book of 2 Kings, and Elijah’s response was the same each time: “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of Hosts, but the Israelites have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are looking to take my life.”
It is one thing when we know that it was our willfulness, pride, disobedience, etc., that brought us to wherever we are in a given moment. It is another ball game altogether when the hard places in which we find ourselves, are the result of our obedience to God. And it does happen … For example, we heed His instruction to spend more time with Him and have to let go of some activities, none of which are bad in themselves. They are just not what is needful for us in a particular season. We obey Him and, instead of the support we hoped for or needed, our choice incurs the censure of friends.
We know posing the same question to Elijah twice, was not an indication that God did not hear Elijah the first time, or was looking for information from Elijah. He was setting Elijah up to receive information that would change Elijah’s perspective to His. And how we all need His perspective on us, the people in our lives, our circumstances… everything.
“What are you doing here, …?” Whatever the real reasons are for our current location, let us respond to our Father, even if the answer is a heartbroken, “I don’t know, Abba. I don’t know.” We can be certain there is not even a hint of condemnation in His words or voice. Let us answer the question, listen for His instructions, and like Elijah, obey.