“Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7)
Have you ever been in a place of mind where things look bleak? When you feel that you are spent? Where it is all too much?
In today’s reading, we meet Elijah in a very dark moment in his life. In the chapter before this, he had been involved in a dramatic and persuasive demonstration of God’s power, as people were challenged to really think about God. He then signalled the end of a long drought and, surging with strength from God, outran the king’s horses from Mt. Carmel to Jezreel. Confident in God and his power, he would have been feeling pretty good, wouldn’t you say?
A few short verses later, we find him afraid and on the run himself. Full of despair, he pours his heart out to God, telling him he has had enough!
God responds with compassion and care as he assigns an angel to feed Elijah. Nourished and strengthened, Elijah was sustained for a further 40 days and nights. The angel came to Elijah twice and encouraged him to eat and drink. This indicates that God was fully aware of Elijah’s physical and mental state of being. He knew his frailty and limitations and made sure that Elijah received what was needed.
There are times when feelings get the better of us. Circumstances fluctuate. Even though we know in our head that God is fully capable of meeting our needs, we react faithlessly to what is happening. Our desire to be in control is challenged, but perhaps it is in these times the bigger picture comes into focus. God loves us and has a strong desire to live in constant relationship with us. Why not hand our emotions to the one who knows us most and loves us best, and rest in him? He can and will meet all our needs.
Dear Heavenly Father, you know us more completely than we know ourselves. Help us to remember this and rest in your arms of love. You are our faithful provider. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.