“And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.””
1 Kings 19:4,5
As the days continue to shorten, many suffer from what has been termed Seasonal Affective Disorder – the decrease in sunlight leading to discouragement and even depression. And in this broken world, there may be a host of other reasons that can lead any one of us to discouragement, and the longing to escape from all the problems in our world and in our lives.
In the verses above, Elijah has just come from Mount Carmel where a contest was held to see who the true God was. And the one true God sent fire from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice, the wood, the altar, and all the water. Next, Elijah had all the prophets of Baal put to death. After such a mountain top experience, you would expect that Elijah’s faith would be strong and he would be greatly encouraged. Yet, he hears of one death threat from the wicked Queen Jezebel, and it is enough to bring him crashing to the ground in discouragement and depression and he cries out to the Lord, “take away my life!”
But God’s grace comes to Elijah in the form of an angel, who touches him and says to him, “Arise and eat.” God understands Elijah’s weakness, and God has not abandoned Elijah! He sends his angel to provide food and so strengthen Elijah, and He sends his angels to minister to us as well, in our great need. It may be the hug of a friend, or a song we hear, or a particular message that God uses to strengthen us when we are down. In all of these ways, and a thousand more, God draws us to Himself, wipes away our tears and strengthens us to go on! You may be experiencing dark days currently, or there may be dark days ahead when you feel you don’t have the strength to go on – but the God who loves you with an eternal love will send his angels, if need be, to strengthen you for the road ahead and sustain you even through the darkness. Won’t you trust Him?