In 1 Kings 18 we find that Queen Jezebel and King Ahab were scummy little scoundrels and convinced the Israelites to stop worshipping the One True God and start taking up with this little god named Baal.
After all, one unseen God was just as good as any other god, right? Never mind that whole messy business of fleeing captivity through a sea held back by Divine hands on the dry sea floor. Never mind how He had provided them with food for 40 years. The Israelites were turned easy enough and even started killing off some of God’s prophets.
In steps Elijah.
Not only did Elijah trust God with his whole heart, he also had a competitive nature and sense of humor.
So when he stood in front of the Baal worshipping Israelites, he issued a game.
“I will prove that my Father is the True God. Let’s have a contest. You Baal people can offer a sacrifice to your god and I will offer one to my God. Here is the kicker though….only the one you pray to can bring the fire to burn the altar wood.”
So the altars were built and the Baal group went first. They screamed and moaned to Baal to send fire. Nothing happened for quite some time.
Elijah smirked a little and asked “What’s wrong? Is Baal busy or sleeping?”
So they let Elijah have a shot at it. To prove he wasn’t going to pull a trick he told the people to soak his altar with water.
Then he prayed, one man with one sentence, “Please, God, send fire to show that You are the only true God.”
Fire flew down from the heavens and burned on the wet altar. A bunch of Israelites hit their knees that day.
Likely you will never (although never say never) have to build an altar and pray for fire to reach hardened hearts, (even if it is your own) but our God has proved time and time that He is never too busy for us or sleeping on the job.
He can do mighty things for us when we ask. He does ask that we never tempt our God so I don’t want to hear of any non-working bonfires tonight. He’s always listening though and wants so much to meet us in between our hurts and needs.
Sometimes He doesn’t say “Yes” or “No.” His answer may be “Not right now.” Those are the challenging times to be patient or deal with mortal disappointment. But it’s the price we pay for being far from our real Home and Father.
Our time on this Earth is not promised to be easy or free from hurt. He never promised that once. We sometimes get a sense of entitlement since we are His and pledged our lives that we get some kind of free pass or immediate miracle.
His only promise was that by accepting Him we get to be in Heaven when our Earthly tour of duty is over, He is listening, He is loving, He is patient and He will comfort us.