Editor’s note: Many churches observe Pastor Appreciation Month in October. Many are careful to include the entire church staff as they express their appreciation. As you plan ways to thank your pastor(s) and staff, we hope this free devotion will help shape your thinking. It comes from one of CTA’s devotion books for Christian Workers, Thanking God for Your Servant Heart.
As you begin, read 1 Kings 17:1-4.
Elijah strides onto the pages of the Old Testament as if out of thin air, without introduction. He thunders God’s Word of judgment, almost daring his hearers—even Israel’s king—to contradict him.
Then, just as suddenly, he’s gone again. At the Lord’s command, he camps alone, far from the centers of power. There, he can only think and pray. Confident and courageous one minute, forgotten and in hiding the next.
God sends his prophet to the Brook Cherith. The name means “to cut away” or “to cut off.” Elijah is cut off from human contact. He’s cut off from his home and family. He’s cut off from whatever occupation he had once practiced. He must depend on the brook for water and on the ravens for his food. Morning and evening, they bring it. They’re never late, but they’re never early, either.
If you’ve been in ministry for longer than 10 minutes, you’ve already begun to see yourself in Elijah’s story. Consider:
- We may serve in the spotlight or far behind the scenes. That matters little. What counts is faithful obedience.
- We proclaim our Lord’s message, not our own. It’s a message of Law, demanding repentance, and of Gospel, promising forgiveness and creating faith.
- When God sends, God supplies. We can trust him to keep his promises to meet all our needs. He’s never late, but he’s seldom early, either.
- The text implies that Elijah preached for minutes and prayed for years. More times than not, that’s the right proportion.
Maybe you find yourself at peace and serving with joy today. If so, wonderful! Thank our Lord Jesus for it and serve with all your heart.
Maybe you find yourself in turmoil, uncertain and afraid. If so, take heart! Pray. Trust. Listen to God’s Word, and watch the skies. His ravens are on their way.
Dear Lord, hear my prayer . . .
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