The desert is a hostile wilderness. When Elijah told his servant to wait in the town of Beersheba, he continued, deliberately walking a full day’s journey into the desert when he saw a broom tree. The low branches make shade where the sun is unrelenting. They also provide visual shelter.
Elijah was experiencing the depths of fatigue and discouragement just after his two spiritual victories; the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain. Often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experiences, especially those requiring physical effort or great emotion. To lead him out of depression, God first let Elijah rest and eat. Then God confronted him with the need to return to his mission – to speak God’s words in Israel. Elijah’s battles were not over, there was still work for him to do. When you feel let down after a great spiritual experience, remember that God’s purpose for your life is not over yet.