And a great and strong wind was rending the mountain and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire [or lightning], but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of gentle blowing. 1 Kings 19
Now, sometimes the Lord does reveal himself in earthquake and fire and noise and thunder, and very obvious displays of power. He had, at Mount Carmel. But that is not normally the way he works. Normally, he operates through very quiet, unnoticed, imperceptible ways, through the quiet ministry of men and women who are committed to Jesus Christ as Lord. You see, Elijah’s problem was that he thought God always operated in thunder and in lightning and in power. He was expecting these obvious displays. I think he thought that God would hit Jezebel with a lightning bolt when she fired off that threatening message to him. But that didn’t happen. And so, Elijah became disappointed because he didn’t get his way. Things didn’t go as he thought they should. He didn’t realize how God works.
We don’t always see God at work. He does things in very quiet ways, and works in lives that we may never know about. Because Elijah didn’t see God act as he thought God should act, he became despondent. God wants Elijah to see how he does act. He wants Elijah to get his eyes off of himself and his own expectations, and put his eyes on the Lord. He wants Elijah to see that he is going to continue to work through his life, but it will be in ways that are not obvious. Elijah is to appoint another man, Elisha, to be his successor. That man would set in motion the forces that eventually would topple Ahab and Jezebel from the throne and bring in the Syrians as the rod of God, to discipline God’s people.
Elijah’s ministry from this point on would be a very quiet, behind-the-scenes ministry. It wouldn’t be obvious, but it would be powerful. And the reformation and purification of God’s people that Elijah was looking for would be accomplished through the gentle and quiet blowing of the wind of God through Elijah’s life. That is what Elijah needed to see. He needed to see who the Lord was, and what the Lord would do. And that is what we need to see. The secret to overcoming depression is to get your eyes off yourself and onto the Lord, as he is revealed in his Word.