Post by the Husband
“And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” (1 Kings 19:6-7 ESV)
This is one of the most peculiar passages to me. Here is Elijah, after an amazing victory over the prophets of Baal, but now in exile, running away from Queen Jezebel, afraid for his life, and suicidal.
After doing such a bold thing in the name of God and succeeding, he now felt isolated and alone.
After the God of the universe starts a fire on wet wood in the presence of his enemies, vindicating Elijah’s message and ministry all this time, Elijah is now exhausted, worn out emotionally and drained spiritually.
He has nothing left.
His prayer is a prayer of a burnt-out minister, someone who’s experienced God’s greatness but now questioning if this God actually cares for him personally. Sure, He can create the universe, but will He heal me? We know He can provide for the multitudes, but will He help pay my bills?
Elijahs’ mental state was understandable.
God displays His power, but why doesn’t He crush the enemy and sort it out once and for all so Elijah can rest? Why not just burn the evil king and queen? Why didn’t the fire fall on all the bad guys?
The display of power did not solve all the problems.
Just like the power of the Gospel in our lives; it transforms, forgives and restores, but in our fallenness, we’d struggle the next day with the same temptations that brought us to our knees all these years. The people we didn’t get along with are still the same. God does not seem to “fix” everything – He seems to leave a lot of things the same. Queen Jezebel still hated Elijah’s guts, regardless of the power that was demonstrated.
So after Elijah expresses his honest feelings – one of despondency and tiredness – instead of getting scolded by God, he wakes up to find — a cake!
Now I realise that it may not have been a birthday cake; more probably like plain bread, but the fact that God cared and fathered and loved Elijah nonetheless is unfathomable to me.
And this is my revelation: Elijah is not just a minister of God, but a child of God. He isn’t just a guy to “get things done” for God, but one whom the Lord wants to bless as His child! And for anyone who’s ever felt used, overworked, or burnt in the work of the Kingdom — this is revolutionary! God knew that Elijah was spent, and brought him comfort with a cake and water. Doesn’t this speak of a loving Father attuned to our needs, pouring into us before we’re ever asked to give back out?
How similar to a loving human parent.
It reminds me of how my mum loves to feed her children. Even though we are now older now and are able to feed ourselves, she thrives on feeding us. And her food is amazing of course! Through the ups and downs of life, my mum wants to feed me. Her food is comforting. Her fellowship is lovely.
And God is like a loving mother; giving food and drink to His child. Before there is ever any big discussion or a bing revelation to be given, God gives cake and water, communicating His understanding of our most basic needs and conditions.
Elijah perhaps was a bit hangry as they say – “hungry and angry”. Perhaps even hungry and depressed. Most likely tired and grumpy. Before God then reveals Himself in the still small voice, He feeds Elijah. Before the big breakthrough is to come, He meets us where we are at.
Oh what a wonderful God!
Let Him speak to you through His provision, through the next meal you have.
Say grace with faith. Thank Him for the next meal with understanding. You get your bite of next meal only because He loves you.
And rest and believe…