The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched [Elijah] and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19:7-8
Food for the Journey
The prophet Elijah was a wanted man. Hunted by Queen Jezebel, he ran for his life into the desert. Finding a tree, he sat under it and prayed: “I have had enough,LORD. Take my life.”
Do you ever feel like Elijah under that tree? Ever have one of those days, weeks, or years where you just want to curl up and die? Life is too hard; the journey is too much.
We work, we pray, we expect success, and then everything we work for falls apart. There’s pain that no medicine can numb, and diseases that wear down and destroy our bodies. There’s guilt over the things we have said and done, and the things we have left unsaid and undone.
But rather than ask God to end us, we should ask him to do what he promises, and give us food for the journey. Notice that God did not do what Elijah asked. He didn’t take Elijah’s life, he preserved it. He sent an angel to Elijah with bread and water. Not only did that meal strengthen him for his journey, it also assured him of God’s presence and reminded him that he was not alone.
God doesn’t let us starve on the journey either. He provides daily bread for our bodies and Jesus, the Bread of Life, for our souls. The good news about Jesus assures us of God’s presence and reminds us that we are not alone. Jesus journeyed to the cross to guarantee that our journey has a blessed end.
The Lord does not promise quick and easy solutions for the pains of our journey. We who eat the Bread of Life are not spared the trouble of life. Jesus isn’t magic wonder bread that takes away all our problems. He is God’s Living Bread, food for the journey that sees us through life and death to the resurrection on the Last Day.
Lord, thank you for feeding my body and my soul. Amen.