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1 Kings 19:1–8 ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ (v7)

God provides for the overwrought Elijah. Having won a major victory against King Ahab and his evil wife Jezebel, Elijah has fled from them, travelling about eighty miles south to the city of Beersheba.

Spent of his energy and deeply discouraged by the threats of Jezebel, he then travels even further away, this time a day’s journey alone into the wilderness.

There he collapses in a heap, uttering words that many of us have probably also said at some point: ‘I have had enough, LORD’ (v4). Feeling overwhelmed and dejected, he doesn’t see the point of continuing to live and succumbs to sleep.

But God sees Elijah in his entirety – his strengths and now his weaknesses. He knows that pure exhaustion lies behind Elijah’s request, and ‘all at once’ sends an angel to care for and strengthen Elijah.

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Note that God’s angel provides food and sleep for Elijah not just once but twice. God knows what Elijah has been through and tends to his physical needs so that his spirit can recover too.

Our God is so practical! He wants us to care for ourselves physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. We might be tempted to spiritualise our problems and travails, but sometimes the main thing we need to do is enjoy a good meal and sleep.

Indeed, sometimes when we go on retreat the main thing God delights to give us is a lovely long nap. Know that if you’re depleted and spent, that God can bring you physical refreshment, which in turn may revive your hope in Him.

This article was originally posted as EDWJ.
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.