Do you ever feel, when you’re in the big city, that there's not a Christian for miles around? Does the swirling cocktail of advertising come-ons, dubious money exchanges in street corner huddles, and defiant rap music assaulting your sensibilities make you feel that God has fled the scene, and you are alone like Elijah?
“… I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:14).
I drove to the Temple University dental clinic in Philadelphia this morning and didn’t particularly discern the presence of God in any scene or conversation. I took the elevator to the second floor, found the finance office, and was directed to one of the cubicles for assistance. The employee was pleasant, found my name on a list, and made a phone call that lasted long enough for me to take in the various pieces of her life plastered to the partitions enclosing her eight hours a day. I came upon a printout on her cubicle wall and scribbled its contents on a shopping notepad:
“Lord, as I enter this workplace, I bring your presence with me. I speak your peace, your grace, and your perfect Lordship over all that will be spoken, thought, decided, and accomplished within these walls. Lord, I thank you for the gifts you have deposited in me. I do not take them lightly but commit to using them responsibly and well. Give me a fresh supply of truth and beauty on which to draw as I do my job. Anoint my creativity, my ideas, my energy, so that even my smallest task may bring you honor.
“Lord, when I am confused, guide me. When I am weary, energize me. Lord, when I am burnt out, infuse me with the light of your Holy Spirit. May the work that I do and the way that I do it bring hope, light, comfort to all.”
After we finished our business and she was saying good-bye, I glanced over at the prayer and said, “I like that.” She smiled. Nothing more needed to be said. As I walked away I remembered that Elijah had been wrong in his assessment. The Lord has His people everywhere:
“Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).