"The Lord’s angelic messenger came back again, touched him, and said, 'Get up and eat, for otherwise you won’t be able to make the journey.'”—1 Kgs 19:7
And what did God do with His tired servant? Gave him something good to eat, and put him to sleep. Elijah had done splendid work, and had run alongside of the chariot in his excitement, and it had been too much for his physical strength, and the reaction had come on, and he was depressed. The physical needed to be cared for. What many people want is sleep, and the physical ailment attended to. There are grand men and women who get where Elijah was—under the juniper tree! and it comes very soothingly to such to hear the words of the Master: “The journey is too great for thee, and I am going to refresh you.” Let us not confound physical weariness with spiritual weakness.
“I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought by my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.
“Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without an asking if I may,
Without ever trying to trust and pray?
“Will God forgive you? why think, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did a mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?
“Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she set her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?
“Ah, how quick was her mother love to see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,
When over-wrought nature has quite given way:
“Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on a mother’s breast,
He knows all about it—the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes;
“Without even asking if you may,
God knows when His child is too tired to pray.
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.
“He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,
And He knows, too, the limits’ of poor weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,
“When He bade them sleep and take their rest,
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed—
You’ve given your life up to Him to keep,
Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.”