October 24, 2006
1 Kings 18:30-39 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, " Your name shall be Israel. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood." "Do it again," he said, and they did it again. "Do it a third time," he ordered, and they did it a third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, "The Lord- he is God! The Lord- he is God!"
Sometimes after I read a Biblical story, I have to really sit and try to imagine that same story taking place in 2006. That makes the miracles in the Bible that much more significant to me. These things happened on the actual earth that we still live on today. We all know that wood that has been soaked with water does not catch fire very easily at all. Elijah wanted to prove to the people that the God he served was real, and the ones they served were not. He knew that anything is possible with God, and encouraged them to pour water on the altar he had made, along with the sacrifice. When Elijah prayed, he asked for God to be glorified in it. The Lord not only sent fire to burn the wood, but also the stones and the soil, and every bit of water that had been poured down.
Again, I have compared the last few years to flooding rains. I read the story about Elijah and could relate it to this current situation. I feel like we have been soaked to the core with the rain. How could anyone possibly see the fire of the Lord in any of us through this? I think back to Jeff at Hospice. He really was a light in the dark there. When we were little, we used to sing "This little light" in Sunday School: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine... won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine... let it shine let it shine let it shine!" Despite all of the rain being poured down, God was still able to keep the fire in us burning... not just a flame, but a fire! And all so that people would know that He is God and that He is turning our hearts back to him again. Jeff commented once this summer that he would really like to take his family on a mission trip. My mom said that she believes he did just that by going through the journey he did.
A few minutes just before Jeff passed, the song "Elijah" was playing. I listen to it now, and it replays all the feelings I had in those last few minutes. It was such an intense time... I literally pictured angels dancing in his room. I pictured the Jordan being parted, Jeff smiling and running on through to the other side!
Second Kings 2:11, Matthew 6:19-21
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