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[Elijah] lay down and slept under a broom tree.  I Kings 19:5a (ESV)

Peter Attia, M.D. has won accolades with his book on health and longevity, Outlive. In addition to predictable topics such as diet and exercise, Dr. Attia claims one of the best things we can do for our physical, mental and emotional health is sleep. One chapter is “Sleep, the best medicine for your brain.” Attia elaborates: “Sleep is a kind of performance enhancing behavior, not only physically, but cognitively. Just like exercise, sleep is its own kind of wonder drug, with both global and localized benefits to the brain, to the heart, and especially to our metabolism.”

For over 2,000 years, Scripture has included a lesson on the value of sleep. As explained in I Kings 18 and 19, the prophet Elijah had just won a huge spiritual victory when the evil Queen Jezebel sent him a death threat. 

I Kings 19:3-4 tells us: “Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.'”

Despite being a famous prophet who had done incredible miracles, Elijah was so exhausted, he was basically suicidal.

But thankfully, rather than take his life, what did Elijah do?

“And he lay down and slept under a broom tree” (v. 5a).

He called a time out and took a nap!

Verse 5 continues and shows us that God was aware of Elijah’s plight: “And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’”

Notice. The angel did not say “Get up, you lazy fool” or “What’s wrong with you?” or “You should be ashamed of yourself for giving up so easily!”

No, the angel not only told Elijah to take care of his physical needs, he even provided for him.

Verses 6-8 elaborate: “And [Elijah] looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, ‘Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.’ And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.”

When we buy a new vehicle, we get a user’s manual from the manufacturer, for who knows better how to maintain and operate the vehicle than the maker? Likewise, the Bible is like an “owner’s manual” for life, from our Creator!

As you go through life, will you live your life in harmony with the owner’s manual, or against it?

Take the next step: When you’re feeling pressured, stressed, and burned out, rather than trying to do more in less time, call a time out and take a nap!

(Editor’s note: The Publisher’s wife often declares the following to the children, “Sleep is your superpower!”)


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