Summary: Our success and fulfillment is in our service and Jesus, the bread of heaven, gives us the food that we need for the journey.
FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY
Text: First Kings 17:19
"The familiar orange box and the slogan "The Breakfast of Champions" have become more than just advertising symbols. They have become a metaphor for sports greatness and success. Many athletes, at the pinnacle of their success, have shared their childhood dreams about someday joining the legends who have had their picture on a Wheaties box. And, indeed, Wheaties is a delicious, healthy product that has helped fuel and inspire many a champion. But the legend and lore of this famous orange box - and the many champions it has featured over the years - is a story in itself.
Like many great inventions, Wheaties was discovered by accident. In 1921, a health clinician in Minneapolis was mixing a batch of bran gruel for his patients when he spilled some of the mix on a hot stove. The gruel crackled and sizzled into a crisp flake. Tasting the very first Wheaties prototype, he decided this delicious accident had promise. He took the crisped gruel to the people at the Washburn Crosby Company. The head miller, George Cormack, took on the task of trying to strengthen the flakes to keep them from turning to dust inside a cereal box. Cormack tested 36 varieties of wheat before he developed the perfect flake. …One of the most popular slogans in advertising history was penned … in 1933. General Mills’ contract for sponsorship of the broadcasts of Minneapolis Millers games on WCCO radio included a large advertising signboard at the ball park. Knox Reeves, an advertising executive for Wheaties’ Minneapolis-based agency, was asked what should be printed on the sign. He took out a pad and pencil, sketched a Wheaties box, thought for a moment, and then printed "Wheaties - The Breakfast of Champions." (Quoted from the following Internet source: http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/story048.htm). The rest of the story is history. Later, athletes whose pictures were on the cereal boxes became associated with both athletic success and health.
If Wheaties had existed back in the days of Elijah, then Elijah was surely in need of its benefits. Elijah was asking God to let him quit. He was losing hope. He felt both defeated and sorry for himself. Elijah felt alone and depressed. He was a champion. In fact, Elijah was God’s champion for God’s purposes. It was in Elijah’s period of despondence that God provided Elijah with food for the journey ahead. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat for the journey is too great for thee" (First Kings 19:7 KJV).
OPPOSITION TO THE TASK
Elijah who had been God’s fearless prophet was now weary. Elijah’s strength was spent. He felt like he was at the end of his rope. The opposition from without was beginning to take it’s toll on the inner person of who Elijah was. Elijah who had been victorious over and against the prophets of Baal was now struggling to keep his perspective. Jezebel had threatened Elijah’s life. Elijah then went into hiding. Elijah was becoming traumatized by his loneliness. He was beginning to feel sorry for himself and depressed.