1 Kings 19:4-8

Hikers of the Appalachian Trail tell stories of “trail magic.” These are the unexpected, spontaneous gifts they encounter along their way, often when they need them most. The magic could manifest itself in the form of a cooler filled with iced-down drinks and a “Help Yourself” sign on a hot day. Or it might appear in a granola bar strategically placed within their line of sight.

One hiker tells of being on the trail for days and lamenting the fact that he had nothing but instant coffee to drink in the morning. During a particularly long hike, he stopped to sit by a lake. “‘Just then, a fellow hiker pulled up, produced a true French press out of his pack, and began to make me a real cup of joe. He had whole beans, the grinder, everything.’ It turned out that the fellow hiker was a barista. The first hiker said that looking out at the water while sipping a good cup of strong coffee was one of the highlights of his trek.” People like the lakeside barista are called “trail angels” for the kind, generous, and unexpected ways they attend to hikers on the journey.

After a long day on the run, Elijah is certain that his life is coming to a sad end. Just when he’s about to give up completely, an angel visits, fixing him a warm cake to eat and giving him fresh water. After Elijah sleeps, the angel feeds him again, and that is enough to sustain him for the next leg of his journey.

Ac Shilton, “How to Be the Best Trail Angel,” Outside Magazine, https://www.outsideonline.com/2325776/how-win-trail-magic.


Along your life’s journey, who has been a trail angel to you? When have you experienced trail magic?


God, thank you for the gift of (insert name of a trail angel here), who provided me with what I needed when I most needed it. Amen.

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