There have been many times in my life, where I have been abruptly interrupted and thrown into a state of trepidation. Moments where I have gone from enjoying a peaceful day, awaking from a restful slumber, or even celebrating a joyous event, only to be thrust into the reality of a devastating blow.
An email informing me of my employment separation, a letter disclosing a professional investigation, encountering the presence of a vile perpetrator, and worse of all, a phone call . . . the kind that everyone fears, from a tearful, grieving loved one, with unexpected heartbreaking news.
I have experienced them all.
Each traumatic event, each with its own unique impact and pains. And yet my response to them all was the same. SHOCK. FEAR. DEVASTATION.
When shook by such intense emotions, my body, mind, and spirit are too overwhelmed to handle life’s unexpected moments, and so I run and hide.
This is my trauma response.
But I am not alone in my proclivity, matter of fact, the bible speaks of a mighty prophet of God that had the exact same inclination.
In the book of 1 Kings, during a wicked season of the Israelites’ history, the people were no longer solely serving the one true living God.
There was a division.
False prophets had risen within the people and encouraged them to worship their apocryphal Gods.
In response to this idolatry the Lord sent Elijah, the last of his kind, to go to the people and challenge the prophets of the false Gods.
Elijah said to them,
“Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire – he is God.”
Elijah boldly confronted them in this test to reveal the identity of the true living God, and the faithful Lord obliged with fire from heaven, and lit ablaze his sacrifice.
It was a momentous occasion. A triumphant victory. A thrilling moment in Elijah’s life . . . however it was one that was very short lived.
Only a few verses later, Elijah is running for his life, ridden with fear, so much so that he even cries out to God to end his misery and take his life while he sits under a tree and hides.
It’s so strange to me that we can be living one second filled with excitement, confidence, and victory, only to transition into the next instant filled with fear, pain, and intense grief.
And yet our God knows and understands it all, including exactly what we need when we encounter those moments of shock, fear, and devastation.
It says that God dealt with the discouraged and greatly troubled Elijah in a very understanding and compassionate way. Once Elijah was at a safe place to rest, the Lord allowed Elijah to fall into a much needed sleep. He even sent an angel to provide nourishing food to restore his strength and countenance. And finally the Lord himself visited him, and gave him direction to move forward.
Perhaps the tendency to run and hide is somehow all part of God’s greater plan to restore, refresh, and revive us. If only we will run to Him, and hide in His dwelling places to receive the strength, grace, and encouragement we need in order to move forward.
But at some point, we must be willing to move. The problematic predicament of running and hiding is when we never reemerge.
We can waste a life time by staying in a continual state of running and hiding. Remaining stuck in our fear and pain, refusing to reenter back into the life the Lord has for us.
Elijah used his time of respite wisely, and returned with newfound strength and purpose. My prayer is that we all would follow that model and do the same.
If you are finding yourself struggling with the reemerging process, take heart and know that Jesus himself performed the greatest act of reemerging know to man. He walked through the most devastating events, the most painful torture, and even entered into the state of death itself, and yet . . . He reemerged! And He did it just for you!
He did it so that you too can face anything and everything, come into His presence of rest and refreshment, and reemerge. Ladies it is your time, I pray not one single moment of your precious life is wasted, and you walk in His spirit of peace, rest, and strength.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: Facebook – Pinterest – Twitter – Website