Tied, cranky, hungry, and exhausted—I am no stranger to these feelings. In the first reading of today’s gospel we see a prophet at the end of his rope, and just about to give up. While having faith in the Lord, he simply recognizes how weak he is in his circumstance.
The weakness of man
During the first reading, we’re given an image of the profit who is just exhausted. He’s walking—while hungry—and he sun is just bearing down on him. Not saying that we have physically walked through a desert, but there are times emotionally when we’ve been there.
He just about had it and is just about to give up and decided to go to sleep in hope of not waking up again. This is what I know I can relate to. Sometimes the burden is just too much handle, and all seems it is for nothing.
What touched me so much with this part of the reading is that it’s so human, and so vulnerable. Yet–it was a simple prayer of someone who had enough and felt that they could not do it anymore.
The Strength of the Lord
When the angle woke him up and told him to eat so that he can regain his strength, he did so–but then went back to sleep. An angle woke him up and was told to eat because the journey is too much for him. ,He ate everything, and that sustained him for forty days.
I love this! Alone, we can do absolutely nothing. We are weak, and frail and always close to our breaking point. But when we dine on Divine food, we have not just our strength, but the strength of God to carry us though.
I feel that is what our prayer life is about. It’s not just about reciting prayers, it’s like spiritual push ups. It’s to strengthen ourselves for the trials that are to come. After all, we don’t wait for a heavy burden to crush us–we build our muscles up so that we can carry that burden.
Looking to Jesus in the Eucharist
When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we are intimately connected with him. Often, there are times that I just don’t know what to pray for. My mind is swimming with so many thoughts and worries and concerns, that it probably comes out like a preschooler who’s trying to learn to type.
That’s okay. Prayer comes from our inner most raw thoughts and moments. I have to remind myself to quiet my thoughts, and just let God take control. I say what it is that I’m trying to think of at the moment, but I often end with, “Lord, you know my heart–please I don’t know what to say now, so I’ll say nothing else, I’ll just give you my heart.”
Like Elijah, it’s okay to pray when we’re mad, angry, tired, or frustrated. It’s okay because Jesus wants all of us. Every bit of us He wants for himself. He’s already seen the horrible figures of human conditions, a bit of emotion is not going to have Him love us less.
Do you give Jesus all of you when you pray? Are you quick to stop and pray when you’re feeling angry?