When Tragedy Strikes

Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”

But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. (1 Kings 17:17–19)

I'm deeply impressed by the man's gentleness. Though Elijah deserved none of the woman's blame, he stood silent under her blast. That's gentleness. Someone, somewhere, has called this fruit of the Spirit "the mint-mark of heaven." When it is present in a highly-charged setting such as this, it becomes a testimony of the Spirit of God at work in the one who could lash back, but doesn't. It is His life, at that gentle and tender moment, being made evident.

I am also impressed with this grieving mother. She, without question or hesitation, places her precious, lifeless son into Elijah's arms. Perhaps the prophet's gentleness suddenly melted her and prompted her, once again, to trust him.

Then, Elijah, the man of God, silently climbed the stairway to the room where he had been doing battle before God on a regular basis. I say this because I believe that Elijah had spent hours, even days, on his knees in that room. He had formed that habit while alone with his God at Cherith.

Do you have a room like that—a place where you meet with God? Do you have a quiet retreat where you and the Lord do regular business together? If you don't, I strongly urge you to provide yourself just such a place—your own prophet's chamber where you and God can meet together. It will be there that you will prepare yourself for life's contingencies. Without it, you'll lack the necessary steel in your foundation of faith.

What do you do when tragedy strikes? What do you do when a test comes? What's your first response? Is it to complain? To be angry? To blame? To try to reason your way out of it? Or have you formed the habit of doing what Elijah did? Do you go to your special place and get alone with God? Elijah provides a wonderful example for us. No panic. No fear. No rush. No doubt.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com

How It All Ends

See Revelation—and our Lord—like never before! On February 23, take a deep-dive with Pastor Chuck into the final book of the Bible. Chuck will explain difficult passages, blending truth and encouragement. You’ll be left in awe of our great and sovereign Lord!