We become gentle when our expectations are under GOD's control.
When someone disappoints you are you gentle or are you judgmental? Your response will determine the health of that relationship.
Elijah was a great prophet of GOD. He had some great successes and some great failures. In I Kings 19 it tells us that Elijah had just had the most glorious day of his career. He had just defeated 450 prophets of Baal and things were looking good. Except for one thing. There was this woman named Jezebel chasing him and for some reason he just lost it and started running from her.
As he was running through the wilderness, one night GOD came to him and said, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” Elijah said, “I've been very zealous for the LORD, I've been doing all this work and I just can't take it any more.” GOD said, “I want you to go to a cave and wait for Me.”
If you had just disappointed GOD and HE asked you to go and wait in a cave for HIM what are you going to be thinking along the way? Elijah was a little stressed. HE was probably thinking GOD was going to come and say, “Elijah, I'm really disappointed in you. You've had this great victory over all these prophets and then a woman, one person, starts chasing you and you run for cover.”
“What's wrong with you? After all I've done for you, you still don't trust ME!” or maybe he expected, “Elijah, I've had it with you. You are so weak and so timid I'm not going to be able to use you any more.” As Elijah was rehearsing these things in his head, the Bible says that the word of the LORD came to him. God said, “Elijah, go out and stand before me on the mountain.”
As Elijah stood there the Bible says in I Kings 19 that the LORD passed by, A mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the winds. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. That's where GOD was. Isn't that great? Elijah was expecting a flying fist from heaven and GOD comes gently, not with judgements, not with condemnation.
The same is true for us. When we blow it in our eyes, GOD is not waiting for you with clenched fists. HE's waiting for you with open arms. Just like the prodigal son who came home after squandering half of his father's wealth, with his head hung in shame, fully expecting to get blasted by his dad. His dad didn't say, “See! I told you so! I knew you were going to blow it all!” No, he greeted him with open arms. He said, “My boy's home.” GOD wants us to run to HIM not against HIM.
Just a thought from the front porch…