This should be the end of the story, but it leaves me flinging my popcorn and walking out of the theatre. Why? Because I have a pressing question: If God knows the heart, if God doesn't give us more than we can handle, if God provides and takes care of our needs, then why did it take a 40-day trek into the desert and an attempted suicide before God showed up and helped Elijah? Didn't He know that Elijah was at the end of his rope, scared, tired, stressed, and in need of a very long rest? Why did God wait until the point of desperation before He intervened?
I've been thinking about this for more than a week, and my honest answer is: I don't know! There may be elements to the story that aren't mentioned in the Bible, factors I haven't considered, or perhaps my culture or perspective colours my Christianity so much that I can't see a reasonable answer.
The only answer I can hope for - the only one that would make sense to me - is that God waited until Elijah was ready to be honest with himself and with God. Maybe Elijah was trying to be the hero, striving to do his work and ministry, when on the inside he was slowly wasting away. And maybe he was in denial about that. I could see God waiting until Elijah was ready to be transparent and vulnerable with what was really happening in his heart...
But I'm not God, and God often doesn't make sense to me. I'm learning to be content with that.