Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. 1 Kings 19:3 NLT
Running away isn’t always a bad thing to do.
My wife and I have faced various financial struggles, one of which led us to run away. Not because we thought we could leave our troubles behind or because we didn’t trust God to care for us, but because we needed time to reflect and regroup.
Our go-to spot was the same as always: the mountains. We didn’t stay in a fancy hotel, attend shows, or eat at nice restaurants. Rather, we chose a tent overlooking a beautiful lake, and we ate hotdogs, hamburgers, bacon, and country ham instead of steak, seafood, and pork chops.
Three days of running away revived our spirits. We hiked nature trails and marveled at God’s creative genius, and we sat in the campsite and enjoyed each other’s company. We needed nothing more than still moments before God.
Elijah was a runner too, but for a different reason. He’d defeated more than 800 false prophets, which didn’t please the wicked queen whom they served. Jezebel put a death sentence on Elijah’s head, telling him he’d be dead by the next day. In fear, he ran until he landed in a cave where God reassured him, not by miraculous events but by a still small voice that assured him God still controlled his life events. Elijah’s unfounded fear prompted him to run.
Jesus ran too, but not from unhealthy fear. He ran deep into a garden to find reassurance and strength to face what lay before Him: the cross. His Father’s gentle whispers gave Him the courage to die for humanity’s sins.
Running away for the right reason gives me a chance to be still before God, a practice that enhances my faith and promotes my spiritual growth. As I walked through nature, God reminded me He controlled our situation. I didn’t know how we were going to pay our bills, but somehow anxiety over the how no longer controlled me. God would provide the means. I’m His child, and He has promised to care for my needs.
Running away to a quiet place also helps me hear God. Noise can drown out His still small voice. I need His daily guidance, but I truly need wisdom when things are out of sorts.
When you run away for the right reason, God will reward your flight with peace, assurance, and guidance.
Tweetable: What are you running from?
Prayer: Father, when we run, help us to run to You, the author and finisher of our faith.