Give me a Jesus who meets me in the rushing, crashing waters of my questions. Let me stand precariously close to the dark and menacing skies of doubt, so I can hear the fierce and gentle loving voice of my Jesus who drowns out my fears and stands just beyond my questions with open arms.

Michael Yaconelli in Dangerous Wonder (1998)

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Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, how he had killed all Baal’s prophets with the sword. Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with this message: “May the gods do whatever they want to me if by this time tomorrow I haven’t made your life like the life of one of them.”

Elijah was terrified. He got up and ran for his life. He arrived at Beer-sheba in Judah and left his assistant there. He himself went farther on into the desert a day’s journey. He finally sat down under a solitary broom bush. He longed for his own death: “It’s more than enough, Lord! Take my life because I’m no better than my ancestors.”

1 Kings 19:1-4

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When I was younger, there was a quiet place near my house, flattened out for a building that would never be built, where I would retreat to talk to and listen for God. That space, like the solitary broom bush Elijah sat under as he fearfully ran for his life into the desert, was the space I needed to listen for God.

Now, I was never threatened with death after vanquishing 450 false prophets. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be either. We don’t have to be facing the threat of Jezebel to feel like Elijah. When he settled under that bush, he said, “It’s more than enough, Lord.” You’ve probably said that before too. In those times he (and we) need to stay awake and listen for God.

Byron Vance

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Ever-listening God, you hear my cries that I’ve had enough, that I’m tired out and scared. Give to me an alertness of spirit to be willing to hear when you speak to me. Amen.

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Stay awake that you may see the many ways God is with you each day.

Byron Vance

Byron Vance is a United Methodist minister serving as Senior Pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Pell City, Alabama. He gets to share life with spouse Kelly, two teenage boys, a dog, a cat, and the occasional squirrel in the crawl space. Byron served as a PASSPORT summer staff in 1997.

Inside and Out

Jon Chacko

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