“And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” – I Kings 19:3-4
The prophet Elijah was what I would call a man of miracles.
- When he prayed for the rain to stop, it did – for 3 1/2 years.
- When he prayed for a single mom’s dead son, the boy was brought back to life.
- When Elijah prayed for God to send down fire from heaven in a battle against the false prophets of the idol Baal, God answered.
- Elijah knew his time on earth was coming to an end, so when he & Elisha came to the Jordan River, Elijah took his robe, wrapped it together, struck the waters, and the river was divided, so both of them passed over on dry land.
- (Just to name a few…)
Elijah had first-hand experience of God’s power, so why was he so depressed and afraid?
Here’s a short backstory.
When Elijah defeated all the prophets of Baal by praying for God to rain down fire from Heaven and burn up their man made alter, Queen Jezebel was not happy. As a powerful advocate of the false god, Baal, she threatened Elijah by issuing a death warrant for him. Now remember, this man had been fearless in confronting the evil king (her husband) and hundreds of Baal’s prophets. Yet at Jezebel’s threat, Elijah became so overwhelmed by fear and depression that this great man of faith wanted to die.
After such courageous faith, how could this happen?
Well, Elijah was emotionally, spiritually, and physically spent. And when it comes to emotions, what goes up, must come down. Spiritual and emotional highs like the ones Elijah experienced are often followed by depression, doubt and fear.
So how did God respond?
- God cared for Elijah by providing for his physical needs by bringing him food and water.
- God cared for Elijah’s emotional needs by giving him time to rest.
- Finally, God cared for Elijah’s spiritual needs by speaking to him in a “still, small voice.”.
Are you feeling let down, depressed or just plain exhausted today?
Just like Elijah, even in the midst of what may be the most fearful time of your life, God will be there to care for you.