Hope Begins with Physical and Emotional Nourishment

hungryContinued from here.

When Elijah lost all hope and wanted to die, the angel responded by nourishing him:

[Elijah] 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.’” ~ 1 Kings 19:4-5

And then the angel nourished him a second time:

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 …” ~ 1 Kings 19:7-8

Notice that God’s response to Elijah’s predicament was not judgment. God did not say, “I just came through for you with the showdown with Baal. I can’t believe your faith didn’t last longer than this!” Instead, God met his physical needs by giving him food and drink and also providing him with the opportunity to rest. In other words, God knew that Elijah would be more receptive to emotional and spiritual healing after he was restored physically.

This was an issue for me last week as well. I was physically exhausted and emotionally spent, which made me susceptible to spiritual attack in areas where I have been walking in victory for years. Those old records of my not being good enough played repeatedly in my head, and I was perplexed by how I had walked in victory for so long when they now seemed to have so much power over me.

When I finally realized how far I had drifted from where I needed to be, I was ashamed and tempted to run and hide from God, but He wooed me tenderly back. He held His arms wide open and invited me to nuzzle my head against His chest and listen to the beating of His heart as He enveloped me in His arms. There was no judgment – only wave after wave of love and tenderness. God is deeply compassionate when we suffer, and He longs to nourish us so He can tenderly restore us.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace looking weak under the words, “Me Hungry.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]