NCFI Cares: Divine Nourishment

“Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” (1 Kings 19:7)

Last time we discussed how we need rest and rejuvenation to recover from spiritual and physical exhaustion.  Elijah not only slept under the broom tree, but he also received nourishment from Heaven. This was no ordinary angel that ministered to Elijah. Biblical scholars teach that the “angel of the Lord” in this passage is the pre-incarnate Christ. The Eternal Word personally provided Elijah with the following divine nourishment. (1)

  • God’s love and grace.
    • Elijah was assured of God’s love and grace even when he tried to run from his presence.
  • God’s abiding presence.
    • In our lowest point of feeling of depression, rejection, and failure, God does not abandon us.
  • God’s strength
    • The meal the Angel of the Lord prepared energized Elijah to travel 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8)
  • God’s assurance of His plan and our work.
    • God was not done with Elijah and would provide for his next mission.

Yet those who wait for the Lord,

Will gain new strength;

You will mount up with wings like eagles,

You will run and not get tired,

You will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31 personalized with You)

Our divine nourishment is find in the Angel of the Lord/Jesus Christ (Phi 4:19).

(1) The Restoration of Elijah 1 Kings 19:4-18, Keathly III,  J. H. https://bible.org/seriespage/16-restoration-elijah-1-kings-195-18

NCFI Cares: Resting Under the Broom Tree

And he lay down and slept under a broom tree.

1 Kings 19:5

After Elijah’s depleting work as a prophet, prayer warrior, mentor, and marathon runner, we find him sleeping under a broom tree. Let’s sit with Elijah and reflect on how he became so exhausted.

Even though all Elijah’s activities were directed by God, they had left him spiritually depleted and vulnerable leaving him open to a spiritual attack from the Devil.  Thus, when Jezebel threatened his life, he doubted God’s protection and went running for his life.

We also can become vulnerable in ministry. As we continue to do God’s work in nursing, ministry, universities, and clinics, we risk becoming weary and tired. This is especially true during the Coronavirus pandemic when the stress and workload is extraordinary! In a previous devotion, we discussed the inordinate amount of home, work, and personal stress most of us are experiencing. Like Elijah, we are vulnerable to the Devil’s arrows in his quiver that bring fear, anxiety, depression, and others (Ephesians 6:16)

As we continue to sit with Elijah under the broom tree, we also notice he is alone. Remember, he left his servant back in Beersheba and then traveled all day to collapse in despair under the broom tree. Similar to Elijah, many of us are isolated from our support systems. The shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of covid has caused many of us to be isolated from family, friends, colleagues, and church family.

Many of us are trying to stay connected through online church, What’sApp Bible studies, and virtual prayer meetings; yet they are not the same as in-person connections. We were not made to be alone. God created us to live in community. We need to not only stay in community through technologies; we also need have extra time for prayer, worship, and fellowship. This is a time when we need one another more than ever.

Exhaustion does not mean an end to the Lord’s work. Instead, it means a time to rest, regroup and find nourishment. Take some time to reflect on what has brought you to despair and exhaustion. Are you like Elijah, exhausted from the Lord’s work? Alone in ministry and/or in faith? In the next devotion, we will explore strategies for resting.