1 kings 19 is such an interesting chapter and so unexpected. Elijah was part of God's great demonstration of power, he slew the false prophets, and he out ran the king's horse to Jezreel. He must have expected further victory, the submission of the king and queen to God and the end of the quest to kill him. Instead, Jezebel threatened to kill him. In shock and fear, he ran away.
In response, God was both merciful and purposeful. He was merciful to care for his physical needs, food and rest. Sometimes we are most vulnerable after a great spiritual experience, for we are physically and emotionally exhausted. God was also merciful in taking Elijah to the very spot in which he spoke to Moses, and spoke to him. What an honor that was. God was also merciful in answering Elijah's cry that he was the only one left to worship God. He gave him Elisha.
But, God was also purposeful. He set Elijah back on the path of work he had for him. For God decides when his prophet is finished, not the prophet.
I have experienced both of these in my life. (I am not claiming to be a prophet.) God has been merciful to restore me when I have fallen or when I have wanted to give up. But he has also put me back to work, even when I did not feel ready.
I am thankful for both.