“Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:17-18
Elijah has always been one of my favorite prophets because he seemed more like a superhero than a man. Talk about powerful! He prayed and God answered consistently. He raised the dead, called fire down from the heavens, and even ran faster than a speeding chariot.
But notice how James says, “Elijah was a man just like us.” This line challenges me to the core. Elijah isn’t some Old Testament superhero that we should idolize. He was just a regular man who God called to do irregular things while living in a pluralistic society, much like ours today.
Elijah obediently stood against the idolatry of his time and proclaimed the glory of God. In fact, he wanted the revival of Israel so badly that after one of his greatest successes on Mount Carmel, he saw the Israelites still worshipped Baal and went into a deep depression.
This is important because it reminds us that Elijah wasn’t perfect. He got angry, depressed, scared and ran for his life. James knew these things too. When he referenced Elijah, he wanted his readers to understand the whole story, not just the highlights.
Elijah wasn’t called to be a superhero, and neither are we. Life isn’t just about the key moments we do great things for God. It’s a journey filled with highs and lows. Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t hide the lows of our favorite Old Testament heroes. This illustrates that God isn’t interested in creating superhero humans. He cares about growing obedience in His children despite their weaknesses.
Dear Jesus, thank You for equipping us for the highs of life and loving us through the lows. Reminds us that even when things seem bad, You are still Lord over our lives and You still care. Amen
Look back at your own life story. Do you have highs where you saw God clearly working? What about the lows? Are there areas you’d rather keep hidden? Ask God today how He would like to use the darker chapters of your story?
Further reading: Don’t Photoshop Your Faith.