1 Kings 19:5–6 “Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around and there, by his head, was a cake of bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.”
Observation: Elijah had fled Jezebel’s murderous pursuit. Exhausted and depressed, he went into the desert and prayed he would die there. “I have had enough, Lord; take my life,” (v4) then he fell asleep. He was awakened by an angel’s touch to find a cake of bread and jar of water. He ate, drank, and then lay down to sleep again.
Application: How easy it is to relate to Elijah in this moment. “I’ve had all I can take, Lord; I’m tired of living, sick of the difficulties of my situation, and exhausted beyond relief.” Who has not had such thoughts?
Yet see how God responds. The all-powerful God has no more ongoing “need” of Elijah than He has for me. God will accomplish His purposes; if I dig in my heels and say no to him, His plans will not be thwarted…I will simply miss the joy of getting in on what He is up to. But here we see that even as Elijah sank into the deep sleep of the despairing, God still ministered tenderly to him by sending an angel for his protection and sustenance.
Here is the astonishing part: roused by the angel, Elijah simply ate, drank, and lay down to sleep again. There is no suggestion of Elijah’s being surprised at being tapped on the shoulder by an angel. Was the angel’s presence so commonplace that Elijah could take it for granted? Was he so depressed that not even a heavenly Jeeves bearing bread and water on a silver tray could truly rouse him? Scripture is silent on these questions, but of one thing I am certain: I have been like Elijah more than I care to admit. Defeated, wound-licking discouragement has caused me to take for granted God’s on-going, generous, unmerited provision in my life.
My faithful God, who could so easily move on to find a more pleasant, appreciative vessel for accomplishing His purposes, none-the-less lingers lovingly over me. He awakens me and shows me the banquet He has prepared, undeterred by my seasons of unappreciative funk. He restores life, He encourages renewal of my mind and spirit, and He meets my every need through His surpassing greatness whether I acknowledge it or not. He bids me to “taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)
Prayer: Father, your faithfulness has been true in every season of my life, and it is true now. Fill me with a deep sense of gratitude for all You have done.