While on a red-eye flight to Washington, DC, opinion writer Arthur Brooks overheard an elderly woman whisper to her husband, Its not true that no one needs you anymore. The man murmured something about wishing he were dead, and his wife replied, Oh, stop saying that. When the flight ended, Brooks turned around and immediately recognized the man. He was a world-famous hero. Other passengers shook his hand, and the pilot thanked him for the courage he displayed decades ago. How had this giant sunk into despair?
The prophet Elijah bravely and single-handedly defeated 450 prophets of Baalor so he thought (1 Kings 18). Yet he hadnt really done it alone; God was there all along! But later, feeling all alone, he asked God to take his life.
God lifted Elijahs spirits by bringing him into His presence and giving him new people to serve. He must go and anoint Hazael king over Aram, Jehu king over Israel, and Elisha to succeed you as prophet (19:1516). Invigorated with renewed purpose, Elijah found and mentored his successor.
Your great victories may lie in the rearview mirror. You may feel your life has peaked, or that it never did. No matter. Look around. The battles may seem smaller, the stakes less profound, but there are still others who need you. Serve them well for Jesus sake, and it will count. Theyre your purposethe reason youre still here.