I Love Strawberry Shortcake More Than I Like Strawberries

1 Kings 19:7–9 (NIV)

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.



I keep trying to move on to verse 10, but Jesus has more for us here. I think he wants us to notice this first phrase in verse 7:

The angel of the Lord came back a second time . . .

Elijah was slipping into a place of despondency. His spirits were low and his courage gone. The angel of the Lord came back a second time because Elijah hit the snooze bar the first time. This was Elijah’s wake up call and he was not waking up. I once saw some research about the snooze bar, the little apparatus that grants us those extra nine miraculous minutes of sleep (or ninety). The research showed every time one pushes the snooze bar they lose 10 percent of their energy for the day. (Some of you are doing the math now on today!)

This is why we are changing the name of the Seedbed Daily Text to the Wake-Up Call. (Launching October 3). This little-ish email you get in your inbox every single day of your life, which many of you open and read (and many don’t), is just that—a wake-up call. It is like an alarm clock. I love that you read it and I love that it encourages and challenges so many of you. I want you to know my goal in writing it every day. It is not that you read it today and then tomorrow and the next day. It’s not that you share it with friends (though I do appreciate it). My goal for this ministry comes in what happens next. The angel said it best:

“Get up and eat, . . .”

The Wake-Up Call is like a strong cup of coffee. The goal is to move you directly into deep engagement with the Word of God—all day long. If all you do is read devotional material and listen to sermons and podcasts, you are sustaining yourself on a diet of processed foods. I want you to eat the whole food of the Word of God, day and night. This was God’s whole purpose in writing it down:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9)

Verse four, the Shema, is the single most revolutionary revelation of the whole Bible: Monotheism: Only one God. Verse five, the great commandment, is the Bible’s most sacred aspiration. However, left there, it remains a good intention. The Shema and the Great Commandment, left to themselves, become a mere pledge of allegiance at best, and a sentimental refrigerator magnet at worst. Verses six through nine articulate what verse five means. Verses four and five are the wake-up call. Verses six through nine show us what it looks like to get up and eat! 

My Dad often chides me to not scold people for reading devotional literature. He says, “JOHN DAVID, the Daily Text is devotional literature!” To that I say, indeed it is. As much as I want it to be pure nutrition, the Daily Text is processed food. I wish devotional literature and books and sermons had nutrition information labels on them, like our food does. How processed is this food? How much added sugar? How many carbs? How much protein? What about preservatives? 

Why? Because I love strawberry shortcake a lot more than I like strawberries. I would far rather eat a plate of strawberry shortcake than a bowl of strawberries. Straight strawberries are infinitely better for me. They just aren’t as good. And that’s my whole point. You can do the math from here.

The goal of the Daily Text and soon to be Wake-Up Call (launching October 3), is to awaken us to the pure Word of God that we might get up and eat—every single day, all day long, as we sit and home and walk along the road, as we get up and lie down, talking about it with our children and our parents and our friends, emblazoning it on our hearts, our foreheads, our wrists, our gates, and our doorposts. Yes, my processing of the Word of God is meant to strip away sentimentality and cultivate appetite for the pure, whole food of the Word of God. 

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”

This is the way—from glory to glory. 


Abba Father, thank you for the Word of God. I confess, I love the thought of the Word of God more than I actually love the Word of God. I love sentimental stories and clever illustrations. I love for sermons to pull at my heartstrings and appeal to my emotions. I want my devotional reading to affirm me and encourage me to try harder to be better. Yes, I confess I love strawberry shortcake more than I like strawberries. Holy Spirit, I want to want the pure Word of God. Thank you for waking me up to this deeper appetite. Now lead me on in the deep satisfaction of this holy appetite to the end of this Word being made flesh in me. Praying in Jesus’ name, amen. 


How about you? Strawberry shortcake or straight strawberries? Are you seeing my point? What would the nutritional labels look like on the spiritual food you consume? 

P.S. For All Who Will Join. . . 

We meet at Noon Today (Eastern Time) with Jesus for a time of intercession in preparation for the upcoming New Room Conference. Join and leave when you need to. Please join us at this Zoom Link. David Thomas will lead us. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

7 Responses

  1. JD, as I spent time this morning in prayer and meditation, my normal routine prior to reading the Daily Text, I had a thought regarding the food that the angel of the Lord had provided for Elijah to consume for nourishment for the journey ahead. Couldn’t the bread be spiritually symbolic for the “Bread of Life” that gives us nourishment for our journey of faith? Couldn’t the jar of water be spiritually symbolic for the “Spring of Living Water” which quenches our thirst for God’s Holiness?

  2. Amen! What a great Word for a fasting day, as well. May the Word of God be sustenance for all that we fast from today. Reveal to us the strawberry shortcake (or chocolate ☺️) hidden inside Your Word, Lord. May it be sweet as honey on our lips. Be our everything, today, and every day, in Jesus’ name, amen.

    Can’t make the noon call today. Already had an appointment scheduled. But I am praying with you and for you!

  3. To know the difference between strawberries and strawberry shortcakes, one must taste them both. Can anyone explain the flavor and texture of an orange where we experience its exact taste before we bite into one? The Word becomes real as we experience life in Christ. How is this done?
    Through experience.
    Christ serving others through us. Not to high-five myself, but for the glory of God.
    We move from glory to glory as we serve God to glorify Him.
    Less of me, more of Him,
    Got the blueprint established; now to build with the Master Carpenter as my foreman.

    1. I always intend to feed more on the pure food of scripture, but so often find myself stuffing my face with devotional material, or apologetics, or theological essays instead. Probably because they are easier, someone else has done the hard work of delving and thinking. But when I do (finally, sigh!) get back to scripture I find I am oddly more at peace than I am with the other stuff. It all has its place and importance but it’s place truly must come second to scripture. Wholesome strawberries first, sugary treats less and second.

  4. The daily text(soon to be Wake Up Call) is minimally processed, I think. It spreads an enormous amount of seed and inspires us to dig deeper.

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