A MAN LIKE US

James 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

Mensa International remains the oldest and largest high-IQ society in the world. To qualify as a member, you must sit a supervised intelligence exam and attain a score at or above the 98th percentile, which represents the top 2%. In many ways, members of this organisation are described literally as ’super smart or extraordinary’ but the fact is they belong to the general population of humans too.

A similar description is given to the prophet Elijah when he is mentioned in relation to some of the other prophets of the old testament. His exploits were immense and for lack of an ideal word, ‘extreme’ because all things being equal, he would have gained admission to the prophetic hall of fame if honours were being distributed for the prophetic office. But if there be any consolation, St James introduces us not only to Elijah, the Prophet Elijah who shut the heaven with his prayers or the one who called down fire from heaven- James also introduces us to the ORDINARY MAN, Elijah.

I call him ordinary because he was subject to the same physical, mental and spiritual limitations and shortcomings as we are also privy to face. He was no stranger to the obstacles we are going through now. This was the same Elijah who after leading the slaughter of 400 priests of Baal, run for his life when Jezebel threatened to kill him and even requested death when he felt threatened.(1 Kgs 19) He was not an alien bereft of human emotions, but a mortal man who offered himself to be used by God.

We normally come up with sweet excuses as to why we are not suitable for particular tasks but everybody else is. My dear, it does not take extreme traits or non-existent expertise to do great things. All God expects of us is to first admit that we are ‘human’; with all our frailties and shortcomings but we are willing to surrender to him so that together, we forge ahead towards greatness.

Remember # It is only in admitting our humanity that we can cooperate effectively with divinity to do exploits.

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