It’s another beautiful day- the birds are singing, the sky is bright, and we are locked down. The words “locked and “down” can both have a pretty depressing effect on the heart. We may feel weary or a bit depressed by all this; and the beginnings of political wrangling about how we should talk about an ‘exit strategy’ and when are hardly likely to lift our spirits.
Long days seem to be filled with nothing much more than trying to pass the time without losing heart. It can be lonely and frustrating and wearing. And many of us feel profoundly restless. Yet rest is what we are given by God as a gift to help us.
In the book of 1 Kings (chapter 19), the prophet Elijah is exhausted and fed up and wants to die. In his isolation and despair he falls asleep under a tree. He is woken by an angel who feeds him freshly baked cake and says “Eat- or the journey will be too much for you”.
We have a long journey ahead of us- through this lockdown and through whatever economic, social and political mess we find on the other side of it. We need to prepare ourselves for the journey- and to rest and feed while we can.
In John’s Gospel (Chapter 6) we read
(The crowd) said to Jesus, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
In Jesus we will find what we need for this journey. When we seek him as our source for strength, direction and inner nourishment, we will discover that we do, indeed, have what we need- peace, strength, wisdom and courage, joy and hope.
Now is a good time to be praying, to be reading our bibles, and simply to be receiving God’s love and resting against it, as Elijah simply received the cake.
The angel turned up and cooked it for him while he was sleeping, while he rested.
Perhaps you need to allow yourself to take some time to rest.
My prayer for you is that today anxiety and restlessness may be replaced by a decision to feed on the love of God in Christ, and a choice to rest. And, if you are struggling today, please know that you are not alone- do get in touch- by direct message or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)