August 2011 Prayer and Reflection

From the August 2011 cover of Living with Christ

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Elijah in the Desert of Horeb, William Brassey Hole (1846-1917). LOCATION: Private collection CREDIT: The Bridgeman Art Library International

By Living with Christ Staff


The English artist and engraver William Brassey Hole (1846-1917) has given us a wonderful meditation on 1 Kings 19:9-13 (see pages 80-81). Elijah in the Desert of Horeb shows the humbled prophet standing at the edge of the abyss at the entrance of the cave where he had sought shelter in his flight from Jezebel, who had threatened to kill him.

 

Centuries had passed since Moses and the Israelites had left Horeb—the site of the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-2), the place where water gushed from the split rock (Exodus 17:6), and where God spoke in the midst of the fire and gave Moses the tablets of the Law (Deuteronomy 4:12; 9:8-10). Perhaps Elijah hoped that he, too, would find God there in that holy place. 

 

Elijah complained to God that he was the only faithful Israelite left and that he had been abandoned to those who would kill him. Then, not finding God’s response in the terrible power of wind, or earthquake, or fire, Elijah discovers God in the gentleness of a tiny, whispering sound.

 

If you wish, sit quietly with the picture, and reflect on the following questions:

  • Is there a “cave” where I seek shelter from life’s difficulties?
  • Where do I look for God? Where do I “stand”?
  • How open am I to finding God in unexpected persons, places, and situations?

 

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Living with Christ Staff