‘Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him 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 travelled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.’ 1 Kings 19: 3-8
Did you know the verse just before this in the Bible is one of my most favourite bits? One of my ‘Go to’s’ when I am feeling a bit down. Not the bit about defeating the prophets of Baal, (although that’s cool) but the little verse right at the end of Chapter 18- the one where Elijah tucks his cloak in and runs in front of Ahab all the way to Jezreel (30ish miles!). The imagery and undignified manner in which Elijah runs really makes me chuckle. It is amazing how a simply story can bring a smile!
I also find this next story in Chapter 19 incredibly comforting. The fact that one of the ‘major greats’ who experienced God do some really outlandish stuff…on a regular basis…still had major moments of depression surprisingly comforts me.
This Monday is dubbed ‘Blue Monday’, the worst day in the year (supposedly) for many people as we come to grips with the cost (financially, physically and emotionally) of Christmas.
People around you (and possibly you) may be feeling like Elijah at the start of this passage, and I recognise that when in those dark times it is very difficult to read anything, or hear anything, that brings hope or light.
If that is you today all I can say is that you are valued, and precious, and soon you will feel able to take that on board and remember that it is true.
If that is not you then could I really urge you to read the passage and notice what really helped Elijah- an angel that brought food and water (twice!). Did you know that YOU have the ability (maybe not the flying bit) to be like an angel? To simply take food and water to somebody who needs it. The angel didn’t preach, or bring scripture or prayer…just food and water.
So, this week, if you are able, why not think of somebody close to you who needs ‘food and water’? And possibly help turn their ‘Blue Monday’ into ‘Brew Monday’.
Nick Klein, CEO NISCU