Elijah resting under a broom tree

A Nap and a Snack

Sometimes all we need is a good nap and a decent snack.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there.

I Kings 19:4-9

I was reminded recently about the need for selfcare, and not just selfcare but specifically the benefits of some rest and a decent meal. In the scripture above the Prophet Elijah had finished one of the more interesting scenes in the Bible. There was a famine in the land that had lasted years as prophesied by Elijah because of King Ahab’s (the seventh king of Israel) sin of allowing Baal worship to take place among the people of Israel. In order to end the drought and have the people of Israel turn back to God, Elijah proposed a contest between His God and the gods of Baal to demonstrate who the true deity of Israel was.

So, Elijah had the people of Israel, 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of Asherah summoned to Mount Carmel. Elijah challenged the other prophets to build an altar and have their gods light the altar on fire. After a few days of frustration among these prophets and nothing happening, Elijah builds his altar. In addition, he builds a trench around the altar and has water poured all over his altar and in the trench. With a soaking wet altar, surrounded by a water-filled trench, Elijah prayed to the God of Israel who brought down fire and burned the wet altar. Elijah then prays for rain and the many yearlong drought and famine ends.

Winning this contest put Elijah’s life into trouble as it seems that those in charge weren’t (and still aren’t) very fond of being shown up. Elijah flees the area and arrives at where the passage above begins. Elijah is tired, angry, and wants to die. What is the remedy? Some rest and food. After which, Elijah decides perhaps things aren’t so bad that he can’t go any further and continues in his calling and ministry for God.

While I don’t mean to patronize what some of us are going through right now, I do however, wish to encourage you to remember self-care; even if it’s just a nap and snack, as even a nap and snack are Biblical remedies for having a rough go of it. So if the pandemic has you down, caring for your family during a quarantine is exhausting, this election cycle is causing anger and anxiety, or whatever it is you may be going through, take a note from Elijah and treat yourself to a little relaxation and a good meal.

~ Rev. Nick