“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:35

A few days ago, my Fellowship with God group studied the story of Elijah and how God fed him at a very low point of his life. I’d like to share a portion of it with you here.

When we feel hunger – a feeling of emptiness or loneliness that we don’t know how to fill – we’d do well to remember Jesus’ words above.

In the Old Testament book of 1 Kings, Elijah found this out when his life was threatened by Queen Jezebel. He hid away in a desert and sat down under a broom tree. He, like we sometimes do, wanted to isolate himself – to hide. In anguish Elijah cried out, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4) Elijah longed to excuse himself from everything going on around him. He even wanted to excuse himself from life itself.

Does this sound familiar?

Elijah went to sleep. After he had slept a while, an angel woke him, bringing bread and water. Elijah ate and went back to sleep. Later, the angel came back a second time with bread and water. Touching him, he said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”

Why the bread and water?

This shows how God cared about Elijah. Not only that, God told him he had important work for him to do and wanted to strengthen him and encourage him to keep going. I feel that God was showing a good dose of compassion, compassion for a person who was feeling very badly about the way his life was going. The food – his bread of life – was God’s promise that He would be with Elijah wherever he went next.

God had an intimate concern for Elijah and he has the same concern for us today. He promises to love us and be fully present with us, as he was with Elijah.

Today we have Jesus, the Bread of Life. Through Jesus, God provides us with the spiritual nourishment we need to be strong and to find courage.

Elijah had work to do for God. And guess what? So do you and I.