Keeping Score

Elijah in the Desert

Image via Wikipedia

Elijah went alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a lone broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I’ve had enough, LORD, take my life, for I’m no better than my ancestors who’ve already died.”                       1 Kings 19:4

Okay, so we see Elijah wanting to die here. Yes, Elijah, one of God’s favorite servants. I say favorite because out of everyone who ever served God, Elijah never died, he was taken by chariots of fire from Heaven to be with God. Centuries later, James the brother of Jesus would write in his book about Elijah and his troubles saying “Elijah was a man just like us, and with the same passions as us”. If you skip from reading of Elijah, to reading James book, you’d say “That just isn’t true. Elijah’s life story is nothing like mine, he was a great man of God!” If you could transplant yourself back in history, and really see the man himself you’d probably say, “Actually, we are very much alike. Just like Elijah, I’ve been at the end of my rope and depressed too”.

You see, there is a reason, Elijah was about to be tested harder than ever before for and by his faith. But when he arrived at the place of his test, he got a letter from the wicked Queen Jezebel threatening his life. Once this happened, the men who had his back in the past, suddenly disappeared. The Queen’s threat really shook Elijah, on top of that threat, he was overly exhausted from all of his work and travel. For the first time ever, Elijah was afraid of another human being. His fear led him into the wilderness, and to this very broom tree where he finally collapsed. His fathers had been evil men and because he gave in to this fear, he felt just as evil as them. Have you been there? Of course you have, we all have been on a hot streak and been suddenly, and completely thrown off course without understanding it.

Author F. Boreham wrote about a time when he had a friend, a great man of God that found himself unable to preach anymore. He left his pulpit, his congregation, and most importantly, his calling. To try to cheer his friend up, he sent him a gift from his garden. You may be thinking that he sent him flowers, a fruit basket, or some really prized veggies. No, Frank sent his friend an onion, wrapped in expensive decor, in a really nice box. It took some time, but his friend eventually saw this onion as the greatest earthly gift he could have gotten. Why an onion? The question is Why not? Nobody praises the onion, even though the onion is one of the most valuable veggies. Nobody praises the onion when it adds to more meals a year than most veggies combined. When we think of an onion, we think “It’s just too strong”. Well, God made it that way on purpose. The onion, is really like the Christian. It doesn’t fit in well with other veggies most of the time, but it holds inside a strength that no other veggie does.

God did two things for Elijah here under this tree. He gave him rest, much-needed rest. And God also reminded Elijah of his onion. Elijah had something about him that made him constantly come into conflict with those around him. Elijah had a real relationship with God that was unwavering. Elijah viewed himself as a failure, he had been keeping score, and he admitted to God that he had been. God told him that it was not his place to keep score of the success of his ministry. It was God’s. God gave him an onion (the ball) and told him to run with it while He kept the score. Essentially, God put it this way: “It’s not your place to keep score. You don’t even know how to keep it! You added up your numbers and got zero, I added those same numbers and got 7,000. Yes, 7,000 that have not bowed to false God’s because of your ministry! You Elijah, have been a great helper and an inspiration because of your love for me! I, the Lord never fail and therefore those who walk with me never fail in my eyes either!”

If we live the way of the onion, the way of Elijah, the way of God. We won’t always be able to feel as if we are a success. We won’t always see the bright side. We, at some point, will end up collapsing under the broom tree out of fear. But that fear only lasts for a time, as we know that God has said that joy comes in the morning after the storm.

God Bless,


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One Response to “Keeping Score”

  1. The Lord Is Not In It | YOU DECIDE Says:

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