Baked by an angel
I grew up enjoying Angel Food Cakes on Sunday, at birthday parties, family reunions, and church potlucks. This cake is still fascinating to me because it requires a dozen (plus one) egg whites, beaten stiffly until the bowl can be turned upside-down without spillage. It was baked in a tall pan with a hole in the middle. It turned out beautiful, elegant, and yummy. My mother was a champion at beating the cake by hand, and she served it often. It continues to be my favorite cake today.
I read in the Old Testament about a cake baked by an angel. . . served not as a dessert but desert - style.
Elijah was God’s chosen prophet and servant in Israel at a time when competition for truth included many false gods, including Baal, and their prophets. He was God’s man for this hour in Israel and had been used as a man of prayer. When he prayed for rain, it rained. When he prayed for it to stop, it stopped. He prayed for fire on Mount Carmel, and fire fell.
I Kings 19:3 indicates new challenges. Discouragement and fear set in as he looked at his circumstances. A very trying, taxing time, then followed by a great victory, and time of seeing God at work, seemed to take its toll on Elijah. He was exhausted and maybe burned out. He had to get away. He was led to a shade in the wilderness, a juniper tree, more commonly known as a “broom tree,” where he sat down to literally give up. He fell asleep, and God took over.
Remember teeter-totters in the park? Hold on, position yourself, and off you go. From down to up, up to down, up again, then down. Life feels that way sometimes – bumping at the bottom or hilariously happy at the top. We can learn from Elijah and God’s faithfulness in his situation. We may need to find a broom tree.
How sweet that sleep must have been, even on the ground with his cloak wadded under his head! Then, to be roused by an angel serving a hot breakfast! Cake! Angel Food Cake Extraordinaire, filled with more than quick energy called sugar. I’m sure there were grains, nuts, whole wheat and all the best of health ingredients. If the water wasn’t infused with a little caffeine, I’m sure God’s angel made it more than sufficient.
I love the little detail that after Elijah ate and drank, he lay down again. I’ll bet he took another nap. Could it get any more royal than that? God saw this overtaxed servant, provided much-needed physical sleep and rest, refreshed him with food and drink, and strengthened him for the next leg of his journey. There was more purpose for him – more for him to do. On his breakfast tray, the angel carried the message of God’s new, next thing for Elijah: “Arise, and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”
God had more miles for Elijah to cover on the journey and assignments to complete. Strength was given to carry on. Today, God is just the same. In our weakness, He is faithful to draw us aside, strengthen, lift us up, do for us what we cannot do for ourselves, and move us forward.