“Then Elijah 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.” - 1 Kings 19:5-6
We all know the story of Elijah fleeing in the wilderness. He was feeling fear and despair, not knowing if he could go on. An angel met him in the wilderness to care for him. We might think the angel gave him a new theological perspective, or a Bible verse to memorize, or exhorted him to pray. But, that’s not what the angel did. Instead, the angel gave him some simple, common-sense care: he gave Elijah a snack and a nap.
This angelic encounter reminds us of the connection between our souls and our bodies. Our bodies are intricately connected with our very being. Caring for our bodies is also caring for our souls. By eating and sleeping when he was exhausted and full of fear and despair, Elijah gave his body what it needed to face the day. When we woke up from his nap, he was refreshed and ready to hear the still small voice of God. Had he not taken the angel’s simple, common-sense advice, he may never have heard God’s still small voice.
Just like Elijah, caring for our bodies helps us care for our souls. When we feel like Elijah, lost in the wilderness and full of despair, we can remember his angelic encounter and the angel’s simple common sense advice: sometimes all we need is a snack and a nap.
Grace and peace,