OUT OF THE DEPTHS.
“It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life.” – 1 Kings xix. 4.
Why do I lose heart in the way and work of God? Sometimes it is physical and nervous exhaustion. Elijah was worn and wearied after the excitement of Carmel; and a much smaller cause my lead in me to a similar result. “There are times,” Blaise Pascal says, “when I cannot bear the alighting of a fly on my face without irritation.” I bless my God that He knows my frame.
Sometimes it is the want of a human friend. Would not even Elijah, serene and resolute and still, have been benefited by the fellowship of kindred souls? Let me remember the old word: One of you shall chase a thousand, and two of you shall put—not two, but—ten thousand to flight. “You have created a new youth for me,” Goethe wrote to Schiller; and my friend may do as much for me.
Sometimes it is the sense of failure in my work. That was what brought on Elijah the loss of courage, the weakness, the collapse. It is hard to go on, when I seem to be spending my strength in vain. But my Lord’s Calvary, the unlovely and sorrowful hill, has blossomed into fruitfulness long ere now; and so may mine.
Sometimes it is the defect in my view of God. Elijah thought of Him simply as fire, sternness, vengeance; and I , too, may fall into a like error. But, more than anything else, He loves to speak in the still small voice, of pardon, of invitation, of promise. Let me not stumble at the riches of His forbearance and forgiveness.
I rejoice that, what time my heart is overwhelmed, there is a cleft of the Rock for me.
Dr. Alexander Smellie.