Clouds of inspiration caressed me while I was listening to a Sunday morning sermon. And while my pastor was confiding his message on the subject, “Alone but Not Alone,” I got very interested when he talked about an exceptional tree that gave impact in the life of Elijah (1 Kings 19:1-14 KJV). I started scribbling down particular thoughts that he mentioned.
Elijah was a great character in the Bible. He did many great things in his time, however, he was not excused from the failures, fears and discouragements we experience in this present time. In the passage (v.4), he asked for death to end his agony because he sensed that his life was in shambles. Just like any of us, we forget to acknowledge that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28 KJV) despite the misery we bumped into. And while we’re at this point, we fail to look above and allow God to hold us in our most difficult time.
The Juniper’s Presence:
On his way to Beersheba, he got very tired and laid himself under a juniper tree (v.5). A juniper tree is not just any normal tree. Its leaves are scaly and prickly that no one would even want to touch it. Its height is just about 7 feet. Do you really think sleeping under it is a comfort? But what choice has Elijah got? He was in the wilderness. Everything was tough and he had to appreciate what was available for him. So, he slept.
The worst thing may only be the best thing we needed. Elijah’s comfort was far etched but God’s presence was formed in the image of the Juniper Tree. Be comforted that whatever happens, He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5c KJV).
The Juniper’s Protection:
In the sermon, it was emphasized that no snake could ever get close to a juniper tree. Can you imagine how Elijah was protected from harm while he was sound asleep? How I wish I could find one juniper tree and plant it beside my doorstep so that no snake will ever get near my place!
Same is true with God, when we face troubles in our lives and we don’t know where to hide, run to God and let Him be the Juniper Tree that will protect us and will shield us in the face of destruction. His arms are always open to receive us and we will be secured. Always remember that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1 KJV).
The Juniper’s Provision:
While he was yet fast asleep, an angel touched him and asked him to get up and eat (v.5). He found a cake freshly baked and a cruse of water over his head (v.6). God provided what Elijah needed while he was yet to prepare himself for a greater task. Consider that before Elijah even asked for food, it was already set before him. And consider again, a baked cake freshly made in the desert? Think twice, but, do not forget that even the sparrows are in His care, too (Luke 12:6 KJV). So, when we don’t have anything, turn to God and hide in the shelter of the Juniper Tree. We will be provided with everything.
Only one tree helped Elijah surpass the difficulties he was in. We do not need to run away from our troubles because we are already safe under the branches of the Juniper Tree. God helped Elijah before and He will do the same for us now and the next day. He will not fail us because He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8 KJV).