Recently I got a sample Reader’s Digest in the mail. One of the short stories I read was, “Eight Hours at the Edge of Darkness” by Michael Massimino, PhD. Michael was an astronaut who was given the assignment to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He had to work suspended at the end of a long tether. For five years Michael and his team prepared for the mission. At one point while suspended in space he had a significant challenge because a screw he had to remove was stripped. He felt completely alone. He feared that his children and grandchildren would read about his failure to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. His five crewmates were in the cabin of the spaceship and unable to help him. Billions of people down on earth and no one could help him. Have you ever been in that place where you felt totally alone, in need, and without one ounce of hope that anyone could help you?
At one point the great prophet Elijah felt completely alone. Elijah had just been used by God to clearly demonstrate the power of God before the Israelites and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). Then Jezebel threatens him and by 1 King 19:10b he cries out to God saying, “And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” The Lord speaks to Elijah telling him to go to the wilderness of Damascus and anoint Hazael king over Aram. He does not address his loneliness but rather continues saying: “It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death. Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:17-18). Elijah was hardly alone. God is with him, there are 7,000 in Israel and Obadiah had told Elijah that he had hidden a hundred prophets of the Lord in caves. Elijah found his strength once he heard the voice of the Lord. The enemy who loves to see us hopeless and lonely did not win the day!
Dear one, when you feel helpless, fearful and completely alone, don’t allow your mind to stay in that place. Cry out to God. Put on worship music and bless His holy name. Declare truth, Your God will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5b). Remember, there is nothing that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:39). The enemy loves to see us hopeless, fearful and lonely. The enemy simply must not win the day in your life either! You are the daughter of the King of Kings if you have made Jesus the Lord of your life. You can stand strong and courageous for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go (Deut. 31:6).
By the way, the Astronaut Michael Massimino completed his assignment. At his loneliest moment his buddy encouraged him and spoke to him giving him another idea to solve the problem. You see in that moment of loneliness he had forgotten what was true. His wife and NASA colleagues were watching him on the NASA television channel cheering for him. His neighbors were decorating his house and American flags were flying everywhere. God used the voice of one man to pull Michael out of his loneliness, fear and hopelessness.
Woman of Character Graduate
The story mentioned above is in the Readers Digest June 2016 edition titled “Eight Hours at the Edge of Darkness” by Michael Massimino, PhD.