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

Elijah…

EL ROI …THE GOD EWHO

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

This is my favorite part of the story….

This will have to be in two parts.  For the whole story you can read 1 Kings 18-19.  This is what God, our loving heavenly Father, did to care for those with depression.  But before I can get there here’s a little back story…1 Kings 18-19 has such a loving and tender portrait of how to care for those suffering of depression.  Actually it starts in chapter 17.  Elijah tells Ahab there will be no more rain because of Israel’s turning away from the Lord.  Ahab is even called the most evil king over Israel to that day. He was married to Jezebel.  She was a fanatic for the false god baal. In fact she had the prophets of God hunted down and killed. Elijah was Chief on her list.  In ch. 18 Elijah sends word to Ahab that after three years it is going to rain again. They all meet on Mt. Carmel to pray for fire to consume the sacrifices prepared…  The false prophets of baal did one and then Elijah.

The false prophets prayed to baal. Baal’s prophets accept the challenge, set up their altar and began crying to their god. Of course no fire falls.
“Maybe he can’t hear you,” Elijah says. Then he suggests that they shout louder. They do, but still no fire falls. “Is he asleep?” Elijah taunts. “You had better wake him up.” As a final appeal, Baal’s prophets slash themselves with knives but that doesn’t work either. No fire comes.
After all this, Elijah builds an altar to the Lord, digs a trench around it, and orders that water be poured over it. Twelve barrels of water in all are used until the sacrifice is soaked through and through and the ditch around it is running over. Then Elijah prayed and the fire of God consumed both sacrifices, the wood, the stones, the soil and all surrounding water that the people had added to the sacrifice at Elijah’s request .  The people fell to the ground and cried, “The Lord He is God! The Lord He is God!”                                                                            (Daniel Rodgers part a)

Then Elijah had all the false prophets killed, 450 of them. Now this was an amazing victory in the name of the Lord.  Then it rains.  Ahab goes to meet with jezebel and tell her what Elijah did. She vowed to kill Elijah. On a side note, you see a glimpse of jezebel’s heart. Her country has not received rain for three years,  and all she can think of is revenge and death. No rejoicing for her people.
Whereas after three years though Elijah just had this great victory he was terrified by the news of jezebel.  And he ran in terror of her. He asked his servant to stay behind, people who are depressed tend to withdraw from others. He then ran another day and went and sat under a juniper tree, he told God he was no better than his ancestors and prayed to God to die.  Here is this amazing man of God.  He was in right relationship with God. He just took part in this amazing miracle of God but he was afraid, on the run, exhausted, isolated, is feeling like a failure and praying for death.  He just won this great spiritual battle, and now he was ready to throw in the towel and die…Tomorrow I will finally get to tell you what God did with Elijah…I can’t wait!!l

Summer craziness is over. i will be finishing the depression diaries. These are revised and some new. I hope they help. Thank you for your love and support….

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.

John 9: 1-3, 6

I saw changes after I started the medication. I was finally able to sleep.  I was becoming my old self again.  At class I learned what caused my depression and the symptoms of depression.  I learned my depression was caused by my body not being able to uptake serotonin. Serotonin carries signals along and between nerves – a neurotransmitter. That is what was causing my chemical  imbalance.

I learned the signs of depression vary with people but the common signs are hopelessness, not sleeping, lose interest in things, anxiety, irritability, change in appetite, uncontrolled emotions, crying constantly to name just a small amount. Alone these are not as big of a problem, but all of these even several of these means you might be depressed.  I  learned that only a doctor can tell you if you are clinically depressed. But once you knew and were put on medication you need to stay on the medication until they tell you can quit. Quitting “cold-turkey” can cause serious problems for someone who is depressed. I cannot tell you how often, in the beginning,  I felt really good and stopped taking my medication. It is always a disaster. I put my self at risk for becoming far worse than I was.

A few thoughts on medications…Medication doesn’t make you weak. Medication prescribed by a doctor does not mean you will become addicted to these drugs. If you had cancer and someone told you that you would be cured but you have to take this medication everyday.  You would easily take your medication for cancer. Another thing to remember is if your prescription for medication was addictive, why do we long so much to be off the meds.

I think Jesus shows us a glimpse of his opinion on medication. In John 9:6 is says, ” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes…” now this is not a scholarly
thought this is a heart thought. Why did Jesus use spit and mud to heal the blind man. With one word He could have healed him. Could he be showing, “It is ok for Me to heal through medication.” Jesus does the healing, but He can use what ever way he wants to use.

Medication is very important to your healing. If you are prescribed meds by a Doctor. Do not be ashamed to take them. They are a blessing from God available only now in time. We are blessed to be here now. Let’s take every advantage of what opportunities we have available to us.

Remember Jesus said,  ” I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10: 10b