God’s Response to depression….
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:13
So here’s this amazing man of God who just had this amazing victory and now here he was exhausted, fearful, isolated, feeling like a failure and wanting to die. He had a right relationship with the Lord, but he was still terrified. How could this be possible? Unfortunately this happens all too often. We can hit our lowest lows after an amazing spiritual victory. So what did God do? Did He rebuke Elijah? Did He pass judgement on Elijah or tell him to snap out of it? No the scriptures says this…Elijah fell asleep under the tree. An angel of the Lord tapped Elijah and woke him. And the angel said, “Get up and eat.” And there near his head was some baked bread over coals and a jug water. Elijah ate and drank and then laid down again. The angel of the Lord again woke Elijah,
“Get up and eat for the journey is too much for you.” So Elijah got up ate and drank. God had great compassion for Elijah. He knew Elijah was depressed. God did not allow him to die like he wanted. God still had a great deal for Elijah to do. Strengthened by the food and water he gets up and travels for forty days and nights to Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God. This is the mountain where the commandments were given to Moses. It was like he wanted a fresh touch from God. He wanted to go where he thought God might be. He went in a cave and spent the night.
What so touched my heart is that God knew Elijah’s heart. God also knew Elijah was exhausted from running and from spiritual battle at Mt. Carmel. God knew that Elijah was not up for teaching just yet. Sometimes I think that we are so eager to fix the depressed person that we automatically start telling what to do to get better. Sometimes they just need someone to listen. They may need a meal or an errand run. I have people in my life that if i get down just hearing their voice helps. Some may just want to sit with you quietly while you work around the house. God knew He just needed love and comfort and time. We are such an instant world now. You must give yourself time to recover and heal. In fact it is another 40 days before Elijah’s next big spiritual lesson.
Look, our heavenly Father made our bodies. He knows their limits physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God knows that sometimes when you are depressed you need sleep, food and water before you can continue on your spiritual journey. And that is what we as a church need to do for our brothers and sisters who are depressed. We need to be there for them and minister to them physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. We need to love them where they are and not judge them. We just need to accept them as they are and know God has great plans for them. And if you are the one depressed, please give yourself a break and take care of yourself physically and spiritually. God knows you are weary. He knows you need rest, just let Him love you…Tomorrow I will finish the Elijah story. God still has more amazing things for