(God has called me this summer to walk the Camino de Santiago! For those of you that don’t know, the Camino is a thousand year old pilgrimage across 500 miles of Spain (and a few kilometers of France!) to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. I am very nervous and excited to undertake this journey, and I want to bring you all with me! Please comment below with your prayers and intentions so I can carry your petitions with me and lay them at the foot of the cross. Thank you all for your constant support. Please keep me in your prayers as well! Buen Camino!)
I can relate a lot to Elijah. In 1 Kings 19: 1-13 (see passage below) Elijah is at his wits’ end. He has done all that he has been asked to do, and feels he has failed. Then he begs for death in verse 4!
Now I might not be that dramatic or have all that going on, but I can relate to what happens next. God calls him on a long journey out into the desert to a mountain to talk to him. For the past sixteen days I have been walking across Spain on an ancient pilgrimage across the country to the tomb of St. James the Apostle. This is a road that has been walked by Christians for hundreds of years.
Why? Well, I thought I knew.
I was so excited about the fun of the journey and self-discovery, how I was going to be on my own and do it all on my own. Well, that didn’t last. Day 3 my knee gave out, I had blisters, I was afraid of a stress fracture, and I wanted to go home. Then, with the help of parents and friends I had met along the way (not to mention your prayers!) Jesus asked me the same question he asks Elijah in verse 9: “Why are you here?” I thought I knew. I rattled off reason after reason, and kept trying to do it on my own. But day after day I couldn’t. Day 4 I let a kind woman buy me a knee brace in Pamplona. I let people give me the lower bunk. Day 6 I got medicine and icy hot from kind fellow pilgrims, which I could not have finished the day without. People have given me places to stay, food, clothes, more than I could ever have imagined.
Finally I broke. I gave into His love and accepted the help I was offered, accepted his love. I opened every day in prayer. Each day now I pray the Rosary from first Joyful to fifth Glorious for you!
I learned what Elijah did: God is in the soft, silent sound.
During the past week of silence, God has done so much in my heart now that I am finally quiet enough to let Him lead. He gets me over every hill I don’t think I can climb. He helps me through the days when it’s wet and cold and I still have five more miles to walk. He leads me to the depths of my soul to heal my wounded heart.
In the silent sound God asked Elijah once again, “Why are you here?” I know my answer now, but that’s between He and I. My friends, you may not be called to walk across a country, but we are all called to be still enough to listen and realize that He wants to lead us to places we never thought we could go, do things greater than we could ever imagine, be healed from wounds we never thought could close, and give us peace. He ask us all “Why are you here?” Instead of trying to do it on your own, Let Him provide the answer. If I’d thought of these 500 miles at the beginning of this journey, I would have given up. But instead, I let Him lead every step, and now I’m halfway there. Let Him lead. Listen to the still small voice. I’m praying for you, every day. Be Still.
(read part two of our Camino de Santiago series here.)
1 Kings 19: 1-13
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done—that he had murdered all the prophets by the sword. Jezebel then sent a messenger to Elijah and said, “May the gods do thus to me and more, if by this time tomorrow I have not done with your life what was done to each of them. Elijah was afraid and fled for his life, going to Beer-sheba of Judah. He left his servant there and went a day’s journey into the wilderness, until he came to a solitary broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death: “Enough, LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors. He lay down and fell asleep under the solitary broom tree, but suddenly a messenger touched him and said, “Get up and eat!” He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat or the journey will be too much for you!” He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
There he came to a cave, where he took shelter. But the word of the LORD came to him: Why are you here, Elijah? He answered: “I have been most zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts, but the Israelites have forsaken your covenant. They have destroyed your altars and murdered your prophets by the sword. I alone remain, and they seek to take my life.” Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake;after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?