The angel of the LORD . . . touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”
1 Kings 19:7
His name is Elijah. In this moment, Elijah is depressed. He’s overwhelmed. He’s exhausted. He is discouraged beyond words.
Here’s the backstory. It’s about 800 years or so before the birth of Jesus. Elijah is a believer in the true God and a proclaimer of his Word. He works to share God’s Word among God’s Old Testament people. But these are dark times, toxic times. The worship of a fertility god called Baal is all the rage. And while many around Elijah may not come right out and renounce the true God, the practices of Baal worship have saturated the culture. As a result, to Elijah, it looks as though no one—no one—cares about the LORD anymore.
And so Elijah leaves. He leaves out of fear, disgust, and disappointment. Once he’s far into the desert, he sits down under a tree, prays a prayer of grief and defeat, and falls asleep.
And then this happens. As Elijah sleeps, the angel of the Lord gently touches him. Elijah wakes up to find food and water prepared for him. The angel says, “Arise and eat. The journey is too great for you.” Elijah does.
How’s your journey? At this moment in time, perhaps your journey is smooth. Perhaps it’s rough. Perhaps it’s exhausting and awful. Whatever it is, remember that the same Lord who tenderly refreshed Elijah is the same Savior who tenderly seeks to refresh you and me with his promise of his forgiveness and presence. The One who journeyed to the cross on our behalf to wash us clean is the same One who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The journey is too great for us. The Lord knows this. He gives us what we need. Thank God.
Lord, my journey is long. Move me to find refreshment in you. Amen.