This Fathers’ Day, young dad-of-two Jay Bucao shares his reflections from 1 Kings 17 and what Elijah’s story has taught him about this season of life as a dad.
You can either watch him share in the video, or read as an article below.
“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’ Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” (1 Kings 17:2-6)
I was recently reading the story of Eljiah and it’s helped me reflect upon how God has led me to my current point in life. Up until recently, I was taking quite an active role in our church. I was leading worship, preaching and teaching regularly. But now things have changed.
I’ve recently become a dad for the second time to a beautiful daughter. It’s been nothing short of amazing but there have been many challenges too. God has made it clear that His current direction for this particular time in my life is quite simply to be a father and minister to my family. Having stepped back from serving so actively in church, there are many moments when I feel somewhat guilty and at times insignificant. The everyday things of raising young kids just often appear to me as being less significant than church ministry. Somewhere in this finite mind of mine, I’ve convinced myself that if I’m not being a spokesperson for God within church ministry, then maybe I am insignificant.
But then I’m reminded of Elijah.
Sitting by the brook
When we first meet Elijah in 1 Kings 17, we find he’s a spokesperson for God. He brings a prophetic message to Ahab, the king of Israel (1 Kings 17:1). After Elijah speaks with the king, we discover that God leads him to sit by a brook (1 Kings 17:2-6). One moment Elijah is bringing a prophetic word to the king of Israel and in the next, he’s sat alone by a brook.
As we read on in 1 Kings we see Elijah doing some spectacular things, but here in this moment, God calls him to quite an everyday task: to sit by a brook and trust in Him. Whilst the passage doesn’t specifically mention how Elijah may have felt, I’d imagine how confused he may have been considering the stark contrast between where he came from in comparison to where he was led to.
My situation is quite different to what Elijah went through, but I can imagine that his day-to-day by the brook was quite repetitive and exhausting, not too dissimilar to the ordinary tasks of raising young kids. Yet regardless of his situation, Elijah faithfully “did what the Lord had told him” (1 Kings 17:6), and remarkably each day, God supplied just the right amount of food.
Serving in the everyday
God reminds me, through this moment in Elijah’s life, that His leading is perfect and purposeful (Proverbs 3:5-6). And in every season He leads us through, and in our obedience and faithfulness to His leading, He provides the very thing we need to get through it.
Today I find myself doing the things that fathers do: changing nappies, settling my baby daughter and doing everything possible to help my wife with the things a dad could possibly do to help. I then have my 5-year-old son to think of: getting him ready for school, ensuring he doesn’t feel left out, and spending time with him on a daily basis. I also want to ensure that I make time to be with my wife. Many of these tasks can seem somewhat repetitive and insignificant, but in this season God has shown me the joys of fatherhood and taught me that my role as a father amidst the everyday of young family life is just as significant as anything I might do in church life and in fact is pivotal to everything else I do.
Sitting by a brook might not look significant, but it might be just what God is calling us to do. And as we serve the Lord in the everyday, ordinary things He’s called us to do, we can trust that He will provide for our needs. So as fathers, whatever season we may find ourselves in, let us remain faithful to the Lord’s leading.