The prophet Elijah had just witnessed God's power on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal had cried for Baal to answer their cries and set their wood sacrifice on fire. But there was no fire.
Now it was Elijah's turn. Elijah prepared his altar of the Lord. He laid the wood on the altar. He had the people pour water over the wood so that it was soaked and there was water all around the altar. Then Elijah prayed to the Lord God and God sent fire that consumed not only the wood but also the stones of the altar, the soil and the water around it. Elijah had the power of the Lord fall on him too, and it gave him strength. (I Kings 18)
So why does Elijah get afraid when Queen Jezebel threatens his life the next day? Elijah is so afraid that he runs for his life. God sends an angel to feed him, and then Elijah fasts for 40 days while he travels through the desert to Mount Horeb. And when he stands before God on Mount Horeb, God asks, "What are you doing here?" (I Kings 19)
It first I thought that God really wanted to know, that He said it in an exasperated way. But after reading the passage several times I believe God said it in a gentle, loving way. He knew why Elijah was there. He knew that Elijah was tired and discouraged. He knew that Elijah wondered why God didn't make things easier for him after the victory at Mount Carmel. He knew that Elijah felt all alone. He had sent the angel to provide for Elijah's physical needs, so that Elijah could get to a place where his spiritual needs would be met.
There are times when I feel so discouraged. I don't feel like there is purpose in my life anymore. I feel like I'm trying to do everything myself and I'm tired. So I withdraw from life.
At thoses time when I think God is asking me, "What are you doing here?" I now realize that it is my voice asking God, "What am I doing here?" I want answers.
God answered Elijah's unspoken question by meeting his needs, and by giving him purpose, a reason to go on. He encouraged Elijah with his presence.
When I am feeling tired, when I am discouraged by the sin and darkness around me, when I don't know what I am supposed to be doing, I need to follow Elijah's example. I need to get away to a place where I can rest, where I can hear God's whisper.
Elijah went to Mount Horeb because it was a sacred place, a place where he could meet God. Do you have a place where you can go to hear God?
When you are feeling tired or discouraged, go to the sacred place, a quiet place where you can rest,and allow God to ask you, "What are you doing here?" Hear the love in His voice as He asks you - and allow Him to fill you up with His strength and purpose for living.