i remember Elijah sleeping under the broom tree, waking up to see beside him some bread baked from hot stones, beside it a jar of water. i imagined he was so weak and helpless that God had to send an angel to wake him up. i imagined God’s concern over Elijah as he sent that angel – someone to tap him and bake some bread for him. i see the hot stones lying there like some miraculous oven of serendipity. (even ovens are not impossible to find in the wilderness God’s eyes are on you. and they are!) i imagine God’s eyes on Elijah. i see the angel as God’s special “alalay” to take care of this exhausted son.
i know that God understands it when all my strength has run out, when all i can do is faint under a broom tree. that was what happened to Elijah right? he must not have looked at his watch before sleeping saying, “oh it’s 10pm. it’s past my bed time. i’m off to dreamland now…” he probably didn’t even know what time it was. he just fell there all strength gone.
i know that God stoops over when our tiredness keeps us stuck in bed. he understands us when the alarm clock could not do a better job at waking us up. and so he sends us an angel.
i know that God has foreseen the journey he has ordained for us to take. he sees the futrue. he also knows it when there is nothing left in our pockets. he knows it when the nearest convenience store is too far for convenience especially for a body sapped out of energy. he has foreseen the moment when lifting a finger would become too tedious for a soul almost crushed by failure or disillusion.
and he has prepared a journey into the cave of intimacy. yes he has calculated the steps we need to take and the amount of food we need to get there. he has gathered up the provision to take us there: some hot stones, an angel, baked bread and a jar of water. and he stoops down to provide all these. provisions that are a little less than ordinary.
he knows it when we have nothing left. when we have given everything we’ve got and when our falling into sleep is not an act of disobedience but a cry to be rescued.
he will strengthen us with just enough for another journey that will take us into the cave of intimacy. where we can wait for our strength to be renewed for he is about to reveal that he has preserved 7,000 who are actually on our side of the battle. that warrior sons shall be anointed and they shall crush jezebel. victory is at hand. from the cave of intimacy, we will renew our sonship by anointing our sons. and we will realize that everything has been provided for all along. even if it takes miracles to get them. like the angel, the baked bread and jar of water under the broom tree, we cannot really finish the journey without miracles. and miracles do not really happen without a need for them.
from under the broom tree, i am learning to depend completely. and i am learning to admit that even intimacy is completely an act of God. i am wooed into it with a strength not mine. i am taken into it with a love that is not mine. i am Elijah under the broom tree. i am a bruised reed that he does not break. but i am rescued in his grace and mercy. between doubts and tears. between silence and songs. between clear words and confusion. between anger and forgiveness, humility and sin, obedience and hesitation, and all that remains to be cleansed…
amidst all… God steps in and pours out all it takes. even ovens made of hot stones.
(2 Kings 19:5)