• Ps John

When Unexpected Tough Times Come

None of us is promised a life without unexpected challenges....

1 Kings 19

He felt alone, but God and His angels never left him.

Sometimes tough times catch us unawares. None of us expected that during this week we would be holding funerals for two much-loved, long-term members of our church, Neil Daly, and Margaret Haines. Neither had been in robust health, but the suddenness of their passing caught family and the rest of us by surprise.


None of us is promised a life without unexpected challenges – wilderness experiences where we are caught by surprise by both the circumstances and our response.


The prophet Elijah experienced this. Elijah was a “super-saint” who was referred to twenty-nine times in the New Testament alone. Through him, there were three and a half years without any rain, and a widow’s son was raised from the dead. And his exit from this life was spectacular, in a whirlwind with a fiery chariot and fiery horses (2 Kings 2). However, following his greatest victory over the prophets of Baal and successful prayer for rain again on Mt Carmel, it comes as a surprise to see him alone in the desert, dejected and despairing (1 Kings 19). He felt alone, but God and His angels never left him. God tenderly met his needs and then spoke to him personally although the manner of God’s words surprised Elijah. Elijah returned to ministry refreshed and refocused.


The wonderful thing this week has been that, alongside the sadness in the loss of Neil and Margaret, there has also been a sense of God with us, even in our pain, and rejoicing in the knowledge that they are now with Jesus and beyond the reach of suffering and pain.


Pastor John

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