Heading Home: Walking with Jesus to the Cross — Day Six

IMG_2342

1 Kings 19:1-8

Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

Again, with the wilderness — like Jesus, yesterday. And again, with sitting under a plant — Like Jonah a few days ago. All similarities end there, however, don’t they?

This is one of my favorite narratives in all of scripture, this entire story of Elijah’s exhaustion, refreshment, and then his contact with God on the mountain that comes later in this chapter. I SO relate to parts of this story. I think we’ve all met Jezebel somewhere along the way — that person or that circumstance which just topples us, especially when we find ourselves depleted after an intense time of giving out to others. 

Elijah has just left one mountaintop experience — the one where he dueled with the prophets of a foreign god — and is on his way to another, very different one. But in the middle, right here, he is struck down by fear, fear that blooms out of depletion. Ever been there? You work, and you give, you plan and you execute, you dream and you make it happen . . . and you.are.DONE.

That’s where Elijah is in this passage. A vindictive queen has sent a terrifying message and he is clean out of ideas, spent of all energy.

But God sees him. Exactly as he is. And an ‘angel’ arrives, someone bearing gifts. I have no clue what this angel looked like — maybe a passing shepherd, maybe a ‘mountain man,’ who knows? Whoever it was, this being was someone sent directly by the compassionate hand of our God, someone who brought exactly what was needed: food, water and encouragement. Catch that last word there? “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” 

There are times when those exact words are the ones I am desperate to hear: take care of yourself, do what is necessary to replenish, plan ahead for the demands that are still coming. Yes, yes, yes.

Thank you, Lord, for being a God who sees, knows and cares. Thank you for seeing our weakness, for loving us in the midst of that weakness, and for helping us to be careful, to be kind to ourselves. Thank you that YOU are kind. 

Get a personal letter from Diana twice a month

Sign up for *More Wondering. . . * a monthly personal letter from Diana to you, available only to email subscribers. As thanks, receive a copy of Diana's new ebook,30 Ways of Aging Gracefully.

powered by TinyLetter

To receive blog posts in your inbox, sign up below.


Comments

  1. I love how when Elijah hits his rock bottom, God is there to pull him out. It happens with us, too, does it not? God will save us from the pit, no matter how deep it may feel to us.
    Blessings, Diana!

    • Yes, yes. When in the pit, it’s important to sit quietly, ignore our feelings and listen for the word, the word of hope that will come. Yes, it will.

  2. I’m a day behind as you can see. I love the stories of Elijah. Recently, I was reading in James when he stated in regard to prayer that Elijah was just like us—a human being—and God ended a drought at his request. I think we have something to learn about prayer if we’ll think on this truth and listen. I believe Elijah was very in tuned with the life God had called him to, a hard life no doubt, for the prophet–powerful and costly. I think we want to dismiss the cost of living the God-life in its power. I think Elijah would say it was worth it. Thanks for writing these reflections. I’m am enjoying being on this journey with you. 🙂

    • Oooh, I think you’re spot on here, Dea. There is more power available to us than we can know or imagine — and we are terrified by it, I think. In some ways, holy terror can be a good thing. But when we allow it to limit our effectiveness? Not so much. Thanks for your good words and your faithful reflection. I’m grateful for your presence with me on this journey.

Speak Your Mind

*