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1 Kings 17:1-7, Elijah Predicts a Drought

Monday, October 30

Hurry Up and Wait

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Elijah had a rough time as a prophet. He was called at a time when the kings were quite corrupt. King Ahab was a terrible king. He angered the Lord more than any other king before him. So the Lord sent Elijah to proclaim a drought in the land until Ahab straightened up and God relieved the drought. Not only did Elijah have to suffer along with everyone else, once his wadi dried up, but he angered the king and spent a good bit of his ministry hiding and running. For Elijah, being a prophet was a lot of hurry up and wait.

Most of us have experienced that at some point, maybe quite often. When I was a young adult, I fell in love. While I had graduated, my partner was still in college and wasn't ready to get married. He said he wanted to graduate first. "How many semesters do you have left?" I asked. "About 4." A year went by. I asked again. "How many semesters do you have left now?" "About 4. Another semester went by. "How many?" "About 4." Now, he insists the delay was due to him changing his mind about his major. But I think some part of him just wasn't ready for adulting. We dated 6 years before getting married, and at that time, 6 years was an eternity. I had to hurry up and wait. (This December we'll celebrate 24 years of marriage, so I guess it was worth the wait!)

Life is a series of hurry up and waits. But those waits are not just empty spaces. Those spaces can be wonderfully productive as we practice the art of waiting, of looking inward, of getting to know ourselves, of learning how to trust, or any number of learnings that come with the space. Sometimes the waiting is necessary. Can you imagine if pregnancy was just, say, 2 days long? It takes those 9 months to prepare mentally, emotionally, and physically. And those 9 months aren't idle -- they are filled with wondering, imagining, planning, preparing, bonding.

Whatever you're waiting for, you can make the space productive. Even if the only thing you do with it is wait, you are practicing the art of waiting. You could also take the time to learn a new skill, to practice mindfulness, to reconnect with someone you haven't seen in a while, to wait out an illness with patience and poise. So go ahead. Hurry up. And wait.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 Kings 17:1-7

Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” The word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Go from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.