Let Him Eat Cake – Simeon Zahl on Elijah, Depression, and the Grace of Breakfast
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” 6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
1 Kings 19
“God has compassion on Elijah…and gives him cake. And lets him sleep. And then gives him more cake. God knows what we need far more than we do, and often our true needs are embarrassingly mundane. It is humiliating to hear that sometimes, when we think we are wrestling with angels, we are mainly just tired and hungry, or that the sensation of drowning in oceans of guilt is mostly just a hangover. The worst attack of anxiety we can experience may be in the end the product of a couple of temporary chemical reactions in the chest and stomach.
And at the end of John’s Gospel, Jesus meets Simon Peter, absolves him of guilt for his three denials, sets his life task ahead of him, and predicts his painful death. But before any of this, he says, ‘Come and have breakfast.'”
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