When God created Adam He knew that it was not good for man to be alone. Adam only understood this fact after he named all of the animals and discovered that there was no other being on the earth like him. So, God created Eve to be Adam’s helpmeet. Eve was someone who could share his work and worries and encourage him all the days of his life.
Clearly, God designed us to crave relationships with other people. The need for community and connection is a reflection of the need we have to be with our Creator and it is just as powerful today. In fact, there are few times in our lives when we are more vulnerable to temptation and discouragement than when we feel isolated and alone.
James tells us that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours” (Jas 5:17) and although he was a mighty prophet for the Lord he too was disheartened because he felt utterly alone. Elijah was the instrument of God’s victory at Mt. Carmel and he showed all of Israel that there was only one true God. But this great man of God was brought low and forced to run one hundred miles in only three days to avoid Jezebel’s assassins. (1Kings 19:1-9)
At this point in his life, Elijah was physically drained and emotionally exhausted. In an act of desperation he asked the Lord to end his life. But rather than granting Elijah’s request, God sent an angel to feed him and give him rest. It was only after Elijah had time to convalesce that God spoke to Elijah. Ultimately, God revealed that He is still in control and that Elijah was only one of seven thousand faithful Israelites. (1 Kings 19:10-18)
While Elijah was running from danger he forgot the things that gave him purpose. He forgot his mission, he forgot the other faithful Israelites, and most importantly he forgot that God was always with him.
Elijah was a man who needed the comfort of a relationship with other believers and ultimately the consolation of a relationship with his Creator. As James tells us we are no different from Elijah and we can follow the same steps when we feel isolated.
We need to rest because our spiritual state is affected by our physical condition. Our busy lives leave us little room to recuperate but sometimes the more we spin our wheels the further we sink into the mud. God knew Elijah needed rest and he knows we do, too. Sometimes the best thing to do is just be still.
We need to refocus our lives and invest in relationships that will remind us we are not alone. God didn’t just tell Elijah there were seven thousand others; He told Elijah to go and anoint Elisha to be a prophet. It is amazing to think that there are thousands of other faithful Christians in the world. But that knowledge is nothing compared to the joy of serving and worshiping with a spiritual family.
The church helps fill our need for community but only a connection with God will truly save us from our isolation. Elijah’s biggest mistake wasn’t running away from danger, it was a failure to run to God for help. We need to cling to our Creator every time we are weak, or scared, or so lonely that we feel like the last faithful person on the planet.
A relationship with God is demanding. It requires a personal commitment to the Lord through prayer, meditating on scripture, and an earnest desire to do His will. It is only when we strive for a relationship with our Creator that we begin to feel the connection we need. God is never far from us but we must remember to run to Him.