My Lord Heals and Rescues.
If you struggle with depression, as I do, take comfort in how God treated Elijah. Take time to take care of yourself. Don’t fake the smile. If you need to spend time alone to be healthy, then spend time alone. Elijah went from the mountain top, as James Cagney would say “Look at me Ma, I’m on top of the world’ to the depths of despair even asking God to take his life. You can read about him in 1 Kings 17-19.
The thing that has blessed me is in the way God cared for Elijah. He didn’t tell him to ‘pull yourself together’ or ‘snap out of it’. Elijah’s mental and emotional health has taken a serious nosedive. Elijah flees to Beersheba in Judah in fear of Jezebel, who threatens to kill him. He continues alone into the wilderness, and finally sits down under a shrub, praying for death. He falls asleep under the tree; the angel of the Lord touches him and tells him to wake up and eat. When he awakens, he finds bread and a jar of water. He eats, drinks, and goes back to sleep. The angel comes a second time and tells him to eat and drink because he has a long journey ahead of him. He is not a failure. He is a broken man.
Sometimes your depression tells you that you’re a failure. God doesn’t love you because you screwed up. God is disappointed in you. God doesn’t love you.
All these phrases can sometimes play havoc with our mental health.
God deals with Elijah in a wise, loving, and caring manner.
Elijah is worn out and exhausted. He feels like ending it all.
So, the Lord guides him to a bush or tree where he finds some shade in this wilderness. He puts him to sleep then awakens him, through the angel so that he can eat and drink. Then another restful sleep. He is once again awakened and told to eat and drink. God then gives him a further assignment. The Lord isn’t finished with him at all.
If you are a church leader struggling with poor mental health, remember that God knows how you got to where you’re at. Maybe like Elijah you’ve said, ‘I’ve had enough!!” “I’m done!” “I quit!” and even ‘Let me die!”
You are not alone! Elijah may have felt he was on his own, but we know he wasn’t because God was there all the time. God had a plan to lift Elijah up out of that dark pit of despair.
God has not left you. He hasn’t deserted you. He hasn’t abandoned you. He just wouldn’t do that to you because you are His child.
God will make a way where there seems to be no way.
At blackdogcollarpastor.com we are praying for those who read this right now.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, that you are with me.
You know me and you love me. You know all about my poor mental health. You know the times when I have been on that mountaintop and when I have been in the dark valley. Please help me now in my struggle. As you raised up Elijah from a dark place so raise me up. Let me know your presence and surround me with your protection and love. Amen