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Elijah: Renewal Happens All the Time!

Reading time: two minutes. 1 Kings 19 is not really that special. I know that sounds odd coming from a guy who’s been writing about it for six weeks, but it’s really not. I cherish every dot and dagesh of the inspired Word, I’m just saying that stories of new beginnings and renewal are not that rare in the scriptures. Some chapters, like Luke 24 or Revelation 22 or Acts 2 have no peers, but God showing up and healing, restoring and sending people back the way they came is not that unusual. Really it’s the most common story in the Bible. We should all find great comfort in that. Not only are the stories of renewal common in the scriptures, they continue today at an unprecedented rate! If you take seriously the encouragement of Ephesians 4:22-24, you’re experiencing an Elijah-like experience of refreshment and renewal every day, maybe multiple times each day. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Every time I do something wrong (my fault) or something goes wrong (someone else’s or nobody’s fault) and guilt or dismay are on the rise, I put off the old self, (“Lord, have mercy”), I’m made new in the gospel of Christ (baptismal renewal) and I put on the new self (“Come, Holy Spirit”). It happens all the time. It’s a kind of micro renewal, and it’s the privilege of all who are in Christ. There’s also a macro renewal, an Elijah sized vocational re-working that can happen. That’s the business that we at Grace Place Wellness have been in for twenty years now; helping church workers assess the joys and the hurts and turning to the healing power of the gospel for spiritual, relational, emotional, physical, financial healing of a more thoroughgoing nature. So, how’s your journey? Elijah had some great mountaintop experiences. Where have you witnessed recently the movements of the Spirit that have stirred your heart with joy and peace? Celebrate them. Give thanks for them. Elijah also spent time under the broom tree. What hurts these days? Have you taken time to grieve over the blows that a life in ministry delivers? Have you sought the Lord’s comfort in prayer and quiet before him? Are you in need of a time of healing, a retreat? If you are, you’re not alone. Seek out the healing balm of the gospel in Word and Sacrament, in the encouragement of a trusted loved one or friend. Get your oxygen mask on, and be filled with the good gifts that God has promised you. It’s what he does best. And he does it all the time. God bless you on your journey to wellness. Thanks for reading. Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee?  Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!