Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Prayer

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets
cried out to Elisha,
“Your servant my husband is dead,
and you know that he revered the Lord.
But now his creditor is coming
to take my two boys as his slaves.”
2 KINGS 4:1 (NIV)

When I first heard my diagnosis, my prayer life changed. Sure, I had prayed before but that moment marked a new experience and understanding of prayer. I now began to pray with desperation.

I have since discovered that my experience is not unique. Desperate people through the ages have cried out to God for help in their time of deepest need. The psalmist David certainly did and I knew another “David” who also did. My former pastor, David Jeremiah, wrote about it in his book Prayer, the Great Adventure. He writes: “I learned to pray out of desperation. For most of us, this is how the adventure usually begins. When we finally get serious about prayer, the trigger is usually desperation, not duty. We don’t pray because we ought; we pray because we are without any other recourse.”

The truth is, we always need God desperately, not just in times of life crisis. We may not always feel ourselves in such dire straits that we need God to rescue us, but we are always needy. Having a relationship with God is vital to human life.

From the depths of despair, O Lord,
I call for your help.
PSALM 130:1 (NLT)

In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
He saved me from all my troubles.
PSALM 34:6 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Hope

Then a great and powerful wind
tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 KINGS 19:12 (NIV)

Elijah was fresh from the victory at Carmel, where God had spoken clearly and powerfully to the nation with fire falling from heaven. But now the prophet was discouraged and depressed and needed to hear from God again, this time to receive encouragement and direction.

God’s response to Elijah fit the condition of the weary prophet’s heart. Elijah needed a gentle, reassuring, fatherly interaction with God, not a message delivered via earthquake or windstorm. The depths of God’s character and love are shown throughout Scripture as He responds to His children in just the way they need Him most.

A broken heart needs a tender touch as surely as a rebellious one may require a heavy hand. The God who formed the heart and soul of every person knows best how to speak to them. Our responsibility is to be in a position to listen.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
PSALM 34:18 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Hope

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.
He came to a groom tree, sat down under it
and prayed that he might die.
“I have had enough, Lord,” he said.
“Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
1 KINGS 19:4 (NIV)

Dave’s comeback, his return to the pitching mound after having over half his arm muscles removed, was a wild ride full of excitement, emotion and gratitude towards God. I remember sensing God’s presence and love so strongly during that time that I thought my faith was unshakable. I was wrong. Just one year later, I was crippled by severe clinical depression.

Where was God now? I doubted His love for me and – at times – His very existence. I was sure no one else had gone so quickly from such a wonderful spiritual experience to the depths of despair. I was wrong again!

Elijah had just come off an incredible spiritual victory, where the odds had been stacked against him 450 to one. Yet mere hours later, on the run from an evil queen, the prophet couldn’t outrun his despair.

I found tremendous encouragement in Elijah’s story. The distance between the mountaintop and the valley floor can be quickly traversed. Yet God’s children who make that journey discover that God is in both places.

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
PSALM 139:7-10 (NLT)

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky