And Something Very Unusual Happened

Family visits Elijah's final destination

Family visits Elijah’s final destination


Dad visiting Elijah's resting spot

On Mother’s Day our family for the first time visited the place in the woods where Elijah perished. Many have asked us about the experience. In short, it was emotional and difficult. And something very unusual happened.

As a reminder, Elijah died the day after Thanksgiving. He was having some sort of breakdown, and we made a call to 911 for help. He became afraid and ran away into the woods. When he reached a clearing, he laid down and fell asleep. He died of hypothermia. For two weeks his body lay undiscovered in the hundred acre woods behind our home.

One of the last things Elijah wrote was how he had grown to love his name. He saw many similarities in his own life and that of the Prophet Elijah. At his funeral, I referenced an abbreviated part of scripture from 1 Kings 19 that he and I frequently studied together.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba, he went by himself a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

Seven times the police were sent back to search. The seventh time they reported that they had found him.

The police gave us the GPS location where they found Elijah. We had scheduled Mother’s Day because we were all together as a family, but the day was cold, overcast and windy. As we hiked through the woods with Elijah’s little dog Puff, we stopped almost breathlessly at the place where he died. It was on the edge of a very private and secluded clearing surrounded by hills and trees. It was a very peaceful place.

Isaiah planted a young tree in his brother’s memory. As we gathered around the tree, teary-eyed and speechless, someone suggested that we pray. I started praying, and at that very moment it began raining pretty hard. My mind was flooded with conflicting thoughts as I prayed. I wondered if this was some divine sign that God shared our tears at that moment. I wondered if I should hurry so that we could start the long hike back through the woods. But I simply finished the prayer with an emphatic “Amen!”

As I said amen, the rain abruptly stopped just as quickly as it had started. We didn’t see it rain again until later that evening.

None of us knows why the rain came as hard and as quickly and as briefly as it did during that prayer time. We are convinced that the rain event was most meaningful to our family, even though I am sharing it with those of you reading this. But as we talked about it later, we marveled at how thin sometimes are the spaces between the physical world and the spiritual realm.

And then there is this. God told the Prophet Elijah that He would bring rain to end the long drought. Elijah climbed to a private place and told his servant to look for a sign of rain, but the servant reported that there was nothing there.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” (1 Kings 18:43-44)

And then it rained.


Please ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post as you find it helpful and inspiring. Thank you.

-Ken Buchanan

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    • Tiffany on May 12, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Does anyone else wonder what the cloudy looking blur above the wooden cross is?

    1. We wondered the same thing, Tiffany. There were many unusual things that we couldn’t explain, but we assumed that the blur was on the lens.

    • Helena Bottolfson on May 13, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Love to all.

    • Sherry Krausert on May 13, 2015 at 8:14 am

    We share in your heart’s grieving and faith. Thank you for sharing the experience on Mother’s Day. I believe with all my heart that the rain was God’s tears. I’ll tell you of an experience I had of crying God’s tears. This had never happened to me before so it was quite memorable.

    I was at church singing along during music worship time, praying the words as we sang them. It was a song about saving the nations. Suddenly I started to cry uncontrollably, so much so that a gal behind me asked if I would like to go outside and pray together. I replied that I had no idea why I was crying so. Just then the next verse contained the words “the nations” and God spoke very clearly that HE was crying for the salvation of the nations. That was the day that I learned our God uses not only our voices, hands, feet, etc. HE will use any and every part of our bodies if we allow HIM to. I believe HE uses any and all parts of creation as HE desires. So, as HE wanted to let you know that HE was with you at that time in the woods, HE simply used a cloud.:)

    Our Lord is sooooooooooooo loving.

    Sending hugs < Sherry

    1. I believe you are quite right, Sherry. There are plenty of biblical examples of the spiritual realm breaking through and changing things in the physical realm. But those examples are always for a purpose and to his glory. It’s never by accident.

      I marvel at how emotions cross physical boundaries. Its as though emotions resonate at a spiritual, not physical frequency. Tears can be infectious, even at long distances. Someone else’s tears can trigger our own. Regardless of the boundaries of time, we can cry over something that happened long ago. So it should be no surprise that we resonate on a level with God’s emotions.

    • Lori Ronchak on May 13, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Oh I have tears in my eyes as I see the grief on your faces. My heart hurts for all of you. I know that God is carrying you all through this in His way and in His time. I’m so glad that you all have each other as no one else quite understands it and shares it together as you all do. Love you all so much.

    God will make a way when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see he will make a way. He will be your guide, hold you closely to His side. Love and grace for each new day, God will make a way.

    That song just came to me. I think Steve Green sang it. I love the words and I hope they minister to you in a special way.

    Lori Ronchak

    • Peggy on May 22, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    You wrote…”One of the last things Elijah wrote was how he had grown to love his name. He saw many similarities in his own life and that of the Prophet Elijah” and also “Seven times the police were sent back to search. The seventh time they reported that they had found him.” It took Elijah’s servant 7 times searching for a sign of rain before it was found and 7 times the public servants searched for your son before he was found. I believe God confirmed your Elijah wasn’t alone when he died and that Elijah was with Him. Scripturally, Elijah’s rain would have been destructive as it cleansed the sins of Ahab. Your brief rain was also cleansing, but in a healing way. You received a special love note from the Father and from Elijah in that brief rain. The “Amen” or “so be it” was in agreement with the love note. Once you sign for a gift and receive it there is no longer any reason for the delivery person to hang around. What a gift!

    1. Beautifully stated, Peggy. Thank you. It was a very personal thing that our family experienced with the Lord, but we felt it would be encouraging for others to hear.

    • Mindy on May 23, 2015 at 3:55 am

    What a peaceful way to pass. I am sorry for your family’s loss and will pray that you are blessed with the strength to move forward.

    • Michelle on May 24, 2015 at 6:18 am

    This made me cry so much!! I lost my MoM very VERY unexpectedly 3 years ago she was only 56 she went to sleep one night an did not wake up. I miss her so SO much envy moment of every day an I don’t know how to not hurt so much!! I’d give anything to beable to have a sign like your family had from Elijah an God!! An maybe part of me isn’t sure if God is really there cause if he was why would he cause such pain for myself my 2 children an the rest of our family by taking my MoM from us?!? I battle with this question an many more every day trying to understand. I’m so glad you were brought peace an love being we’re you lost someone so dear!! I hope I’m able to find or be givin peace!! One other thing my children’s names are Isabelle an Elijah so maybe someone where in me I believe in something/someone because you can find my children’s names in the Holy Book! Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us!! Blessed Be

    • deborah conaway on May 24, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    so sorry for your loss, i believe when it rained that day your son eliijah was letting you know he was there with you

    • Julia L. Smith on May 24, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Sorry for you Family’s loss. I have 2 Nephews Named Isaiah and Elijah!! They are very special to me too!!

    • Cheryl Anderson on May 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all Kenny…

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