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. There he went into a cave and spent the night. 1 Kings 19:1-9
Today I find myself reading a common passage of Scripture, but focusing an uncommon section. It is in the verses to follow where Elijah experiences the wind, earthquake, fire and gentle whisper. But it was the verses prior to that which caught my attention. Elijah was scared – with good reason. His life had been threatened and he fled. After a day’s journey, he had given up, laid down and informed God that he was ready to die. Elijah was scared, tired, and relying on his own strength to deal with his problems – a bad combination.
Enter God. God sends an angel to him, telling him to eat food which had already been prepared for him. When Elijah lays back down, the angel bids him to get up and eat again in preparation for the journey he was about to take. So is the angel a meddling mother? Hardly! Look at the reason for his command. “Get up and eat for the journey is too much for you.” What an interesting statement. He didn’t say, “Don’t bother, it’s impossible.” However, he also didn’t say, “Don’t worry, you can do it!” So Elijah ate and began his trip trusting fully in God.
And what a trip it was. God provided the power for Elijah to go far beyond his own capabilities. Remember, it was a day’s journey that had him down and out, ready to die. Strengthened by God, Elijah set out on a journey of 40 days & 40 nights. That’s roughly the equivalent of going from ten minutes on the treadmill today to winning the ironman triathlon tomorrow! Impossible? Not if you consider the source. Remember what the angel said? He knew Elijah couldn’t do it alone, but he also knew in God Elijah couldn’t fail.
Where are you at in the journey of your life? It’s obvious that you are on your way to the mountain, spurred on by the strength of the Father. Like Elijah, you have been in those places where despair, fatigue, and fear have gripped you and tempted you to give up – to run away. Thankfully you didn’t do it. God brought you back, built you up, and has led you down a path to a destination still somewhat unknown. However, this doesn’t change the fact that you will certainly get there. That is assured by God’s promise to deliver you to that place where you will hear Him, know His will, and reap the reward of aligning your path with God’s plan. You follow it without worry because your strength is complete, unfailing, and not your own. I follow it as well – without fear, without doubt, and unconcerned by the length of the trip because God knows the destination and His timing is perfect. I pray that you will find an uncommon level of strength in God today: strength to rise, strength to endure, and the strength to overcome.