Monday, April 20, 2009

A blazing fire & some heavenly bread


I love the story of Elijah the prophet found in 1 Kings chapter 18-19. The man actually called fire down from Heaven that burned up the water soaked sacrifice, the water soaked wood, the stones and the soil surrounding it. This fire was so intense it even licked up all of the water in the trench around the altar. Only a blazing fire from the hands of mighty God could do that.

But Elijah like many of us struggled. Just a few verses later we find that Elijah is running in fear for his life. He finds himself lying under a broom tree, praying that he might die. In dramatic fashion he cries out to the Lord,

"I have had enough, Lord, " he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors". Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. 1 Kings 19:4b-5a

Elijah was totally worn out, even burned out. After the fire fell from heaven, at Elijah's word all the Baal prophets had been seized and killed. This did not set well with Queen Jezebel who in revenge put a price on the head of this man of God. Talk about going from a mountain top experience to a valley in one short leap.

How did God respond to Elijah when he hit rock bottom? Did He chastise him for throwing a pity party for himself? Was God mad at Him for his outburst? Absolutely not! God responded to Elijah with compassion.

Elijah had just traveled over 200 miles. He was exhausted from the journey and discouraged by life's circumstances. Elijah felt like he was the only person left who remained true to God. As he lay there sleeping under the broom tree, God sent an angel to minister to Elijah and nurse him back to health. The angel gently nudged him and said, "Get up and eat". Seeing the physical and emotionally exhaustion of the prophet of God, God took care of Elijah's needs. He wasn't mad at him at all.

He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 1 Kings 19:6

The bible tells us that the angel of the Lord came a second time and touched him and said,

"Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." 1 Kings 19:7b
Don't you love to see how God was concerned for Elijah. Honestly, what tastes better when you're hungry than fresh baked bread. And cooked by an angel..., that was no ordinary bread! Verse 8 tells us that Elijah got up and ate and drank and was strengthened by the food.

When the day is difficult - remember that God sees your need.
When the night is long - remember that God hears your cry.
When you feel like you are the only one - remember that God will send someone to keep you company, someone to watch over you, someone to stand by you..., maybe even an angel to bake you some bread.

Lord, I love you! I thank you that your mercies are new every day. I am so overwhelmed as I think about how compassionate you have been toward me through the years. When I have fallen down, it was You who picked me up. When I have cried for help, it was You who reached out your hand. When I have wept, it was You who wiped my tears. When I have rejoiced, it was You who rejoiced over me with singing. At EVERY turn it was YOU who was there. WHAT LOVE! I am truly overwhelmed by Your presence. How can I adequately say thank you? Father, May I live my life in gratitude and in faithful service to You! In the name of my Savior I pray - Amen.

5 comments:

LisaShaw said...

"How did God respond to Elijah when he hit rock bottom? Did He chastise him for throwing a pity party for himself? Was God mad at Him for his outburst? Absolutely not! God responded to Elijah with compassion."

Lisa I can say a HUGE AMEN TO THAT!

Thank you for the blessing!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

Just beautiful Lisa. I love every word of this post!

May I have the compassion that God shows us.

Beth

Crown of Beauty said...

Thank God, Lisa, for the way He inspired you to write this post.

I have gone back to read it several times... praise God for using you to speak to my heart today. I needed to hear these words, and my heart echoes the prayer you wrote at the end.

Yolanda said...

Lisa:

The term compassion hit me afresh and spoke deeply to my heart. I'm not alone this morning, God is with me, and He is desiring to extend compassion towards me, will I let Him?

Oh, may my heart beat with a strong YES.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

kelli said...

great post!!