Have you ever had one of those days where you were weary and worn out? Where all you wanted to do was crawl into your bed and forget about the world around you even if it was only for a moment?
Have you ever felt a longing or an ache in your heart where prayers seemed inadequate and perhaps even trite? Where frustration and fear seemed to sap your strength? Where neither words nor tears would mercifully come?
Allow me to introduce you to someone who knows how you feel. Elijah was a prophetical powerhouse; a miracle machine; an agent of the Almighty. Yet in the pages of 1 Kings 19, we see his humanity and his frailty. And while I can’t relate to conjuring up fire from heaven, I can certainly relate to him here.
He is running for his life and he is afraid. So afraid, in fact, that he plops down under a broom tree and cries out to God, “I have had enough, LORD” (1 Kings 19:4)!
Can you hear the desperation in his voice? the discouragement? the despair?
Can you hear the resignation? the weariness? the fear?
Hopeless and frightened; frail and fatigued, Elijah falls asleep under that broom tree, and is awoken by an angel of the LORD. The angel has prepared a meal for him – a meal of baked bread and water.
The Hebrew word used for angel is malak, which means “messenger” but when added to the “of the LORD” it becomes something even more remarkable. Commentaries suggest that this is Jesus, and I believe it to be true. Throughout the Old Testament, you see this angel of the LORD speaking as if he were God.
So, stay with me here. Jesus, the Son of God, makes a fleeting appearance in the flesh in Elijah’s weakest and most hopeless moment.
Jesus shows up when his servant has had enough of this wicked and worrisome world.
Jesus starts a fire and bakes some bread.
Jesus gathers some water and places it in a jar
And then, Jesus wakes him up to eat.
He ministers to him practically and physically.
Not once, but twice.
How appropriate for the Fountain of Living Water (John 7:38) and the Bread of Life (John 6:25) to provide such a meal! How tender and trustworthy is He! He restore our souls and cares for us in times of our greatest need and hopelessness for He, and He alone, is our hope and salvation.