How many times in our lives do we find ourselves in life situations where all the things that had been good seem to turn into something bad? Just when we think that things can only get better we find ourselves one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase and the bottom drops out?
Probably many times, but we don’t recognize it when it happens. It looks to us like a normal happenstance and we accept it as such.
The story in 1 Kings 17, 1-7 dramatizes this situation. We find Elijah hiding from King Ahab at Brook Cherith. The Ravens have been instructed by God to bring him bread and meat morning and night and he has the clean waters of the brook to drink. He is all set. King Ahab has no idea where he is and Elijah undoubtedly feels like he can continue in this wonderful environment for ever.
Verse 7 brings all this to an unexpected end. “The brook ran dry”. The lack of water forces Elijah to abandon his sanctuary and move on to another location, Zarephath of Sidon.
Perhaps we find ourselves in a job that appears to be all that we had been looking for. It is new and fresh and exciting and we can only expect that it will continue indefinitely. But, after a season, out of the blue the unexpected happens. Some major portion of the job runs dry. Without it we are forced to leave, to find another place where we can continue our dream.
Perhaps it is a budding relationship. We were filled with wonder that another human being could look on us with love. We are stirred to do everything we can think of to enhance the relationship. It becomes our focus, our reason for living to return the love and stability offered by the other person. When we least expect anything to change, it does. The brook runs dry. Something major rises to the surface and after multiple attempts to reinvigorate that relationship we finally accept the fact and move on.
Another way to look at this is to recognize that God does use the brooks of our lives running dry to move us out of our tendency to languish in a place that He wants us to leave. We would never leave if things had continued to be wonderful. It takes the loss of something important to move us on.
In a sense, it is a very good sign that He has other things for us to learn and experience. He wants us to glean what we can and once we have completed that task He finds a way to cause us to let go and move on to the next thing He has for us.
Life is filled with seasons. The seasons come and go.