Posted on Jul 25, 2019 by Emily Nelson Dixon
1 Kings 19:3-9 (CEB)
Elijah was terrified. He got up and ran for his life. He arrived at Beer-sheba in Judah and left his assistant there. He himself went farther on into the desert a day’s journey. He finally sat down under a solitary broom bush. He longed for his own death: “It’s more than enough, Lord! Take my life because I’m no better than my ancestors.” He lay down and slept under the solitary broom bush.
Then suddenly a messenger tapped him and said to him, “Get up! Eat something!” Elijah opened his eyes and saw flatbread baked on glowing coals and a jar of water right by his head. He ate and drank, and then went back to sleep. The Lord’s messenger returned a second time and tapped him. “Get up!” the messenger said. “Eat something, because you have a difficult road ahead of you.” Elijah got up, ate and drank, and went refreshed by that food for forty days and nights until he arrived at Horeb, God’s mountain. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
I love this scripture. Just before it, Elijah has won a major battle. But winning that battle has landed him on everyone’s list. In a SNAP, he is a big purple square-headed enemy of all those that are still alive — just minus the shiny jewels …
He is so scared and tired and he comes to a place of shade where he asks to die. He has served and obeyed, and he is done.
But God does not give him what he wants in his time of desperation. God gives Elijah what he needs:
A NAP AND A SNACK
How many times is that what we need???
A NAP AND A SNACK
Our PreK teachers were right on! After we have a bit of rest, and bite to eat, everything makes sense again! You would never go into a big test or presentation on an empty stomach and without a good night’s sleep. Our minds work better when we feed and rest them.
In our crazy run-around world we rarely take the time to rest our bodies or our minds.
But sometimes that is not just taxing on our minds, it’s hard for our spirit. We might find ourselves so run down that we feel desperate for a break like Elijah. But God puts people in our lives to help us see what we need: rest and to feed our souls.
What do you think?
What are ways we can take a NAP or rest (in reality and metaphorically) in our daily lives?
How do we keep our minds rested if we can’t actually sleep?
How do you recharge your body when you’re feeling run down?
How do you recharge your spirit when you are run down?
How do the people around you help or hurt your ability to recharge?
What can you do to rest your body and your spirit? How can you start today?
Next time you feel physically, spiritually, or mentally run down — grab a pillow, a blanket, and an apple. You’ll be much more receptive to what the Holy Spirit has for you after a nap and a snack.
Emily Nelson Dixon
Director of Teen Ministries and Outreach