Get up and eat!
But (Elijah) 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. ~ I Kings 19:4-8
Have you ever wanted to give up?
You tried so hard to do something - tried over and over again. But no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't succeed. And you were tired of trying.
Tired of trying, but also feeling like a failure because you hadn't done what you had set out to do.
That's where Elijah was. He felt like he hadn't succeeded as a prophet. He hadn't done what he believed God had set him out to do AND on top of that, Queen Jezebel was out to kill him. So he was tired, feeling like a failure, and a fugitive.
But there was no giving up for Elijah. God wasn't finished with him. But notice what God does though a messenger (that's what an angel is!) God doesn't simply reprimand him for not completing his task. Nor does God give a pep talk or use some kind of supernatural force to spring Elijah into action.
Instead God gives Elijah sustenance. God gives Elijah what he needs.
Admittedly, sometimes we do need to know what it is time to stop trying. But often, when it feels like we can't go on any longer, when it feels like too much and we want to quit, maybe it is time to step back, rest, eat, drink and prepare so we can begin again.
Prepare me for whatever lies ahead, Lord. And when it feels like too much, give me rest and hope to begin again. Amen