All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” – 1 Kings 19:5
I love filling my home with seats. Everywhere you turn in my house I want there to be a comfy place to sit and enjoy each other’s company. I know I tend to overdo it, but sometimes I cannot help myself. I seem to fill every available “nook” with a chair or bench so no one has to stand.
The picture above is one of my favorite outdoor spaces. What you can’t see is the dining table and chairs to the right and a cute space for two directly to the left. If you step off the deck and walk around the house there are five chairs placed around the fire pit and a bench and table right off the kitchen patio door. Too much I know – but I don’t want anyone to come to my house, fill their plate of food, walk outside and wonder where there is a seat for them. I don’t want people to feel like they are back in the middle school lunch room, but instead feel like they are at home. A place to eat, rest and relax.
I personally have felt a little out of sorts with our stay at home order. I haven’t been able to open my home for others to come and eat, rest, and relax. Instead I’ve felt lonely walking around seeing all of the empty seats. Those empty seats have made it glaringly obvious to me that I’m overcompensating with the seats around my home for something I’m not terribly good at myself. Sitting and resting.
In fact, I’m so terrible at it, that I can’t seem to watch a movie all the way through. As soon as I sit down, thoughts come racing through my brain like a hurricane. I’m literally unable to focus on the movie or tv show without picking at my fingers. (Which is a horrible and sometimes painful habit to have.) I’ve tried picking up cross stitch again and sometimes try to color, however neither of those allow me just to sit and rest.
The last few weeks of this stay at home order have hit me pretty hard. So many emotions coming at me that often change by the hour. I seem to be torn between science, media, friends, family, and my own gut. I’ve felt just like Elijah in 1 Kings. If I could, I’m pretty sure I would have run away like Elijah did. For sure I have told God that I’ve had enough!
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life…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.
Yesterday I tried to rest. I sat outside on the deck in the cozy nook for two with my youngest daughter. She sat with me filling me in on all the goodies that 12 year olds find great. She went inside to get a snack and I laid my head back while rocking in the chair and fell asleep. It was like I couldn’t take one more minute more. So I laid back, let the sunshine fill my face, 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.
Me…I was awoken by my youngest blowing air in my face to see if I was really sleeping or not. LOL! Then I lay back again to rest my eyes in the sunshine.
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 traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
Me…I was awoken by the puppy barking and racing off the deck to greet his dad who had just come home from work and was coming through the backyard. My youngest asked me if I was going to rest again and I said no. That I thought with dad home I probably should go in and start dinner.
Sometimes the journey is too much for us. This will look different for each person. We must learn from Elijah that we need to rest and take nourishment. That will give us the strength we need to move through another day. Even if that day looks pretty much the same as it did 63 days ago. Even if that day looks like another day in the hospital for a loved one. Even if that day looks like serving people all day as an essential worker. Even if your day looks like just trying to stay healthy. Or even if you day looks like grieving the loss of someone special.
When the journey is too much – rest…eat…rest again…eat – for it is what will strengthen you for whatever lies ahead. God is there. He is listening to your cries for help. He will give you just what you need to keep going.
What does your journey look like for you? Take a moment today to just rest your eyes and rest your body. It doesn’t matter if you fall asleep or not. Just rest. Then nourish your body with good and healthy food. Before you know it, you will be strengthened for another day!
STUDY – 1 Kings 19:1-9 – NIV
1Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”
3Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4while 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.” 5Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6He 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.
7The 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.” 8So 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. 9There he went into a cave and spent the night.