Levi Smith, High School Pastor
Elijah is big time in the Bible. I mean big time. When Jesus took his inner circle (Peter, James, and John) to the Mount of Olives to see His glory revealed in the transfiguration, Moses and Elijah show up to check it out too. In this little section of scripture Elijah miraculously provided for a family, raised a kid from the dead, called fire down from heaven, and slaughtered 450 the prophets of Baal. #NoBigDeal. Elijah ain’t nothin’ to mess with. When people mentioned Elijah in Bible times, things got real.
Even though Elijah was the undisputed heavy-weight champion prophet of the Old Testament, he had a serious issue with depression. Please understand, I don’t state this lightly or gladly. Depression is a huge deal. Honestly, I don’t know a lot about depression. I know there is a huge debate, even among Christians about it. Regardless of all that, it was a problem then, it is a problem now, and it will absolutely be a problem in the future. People struggle with depression. It is so important that even if we may not understand what someone is going through, the struggle with depression is real. Real real.
Thank God that he cares enough for every person (regardless of the misunderstandings of others) that He shows us His sovereignty through His Word over every struggle. Look closely at 1 Kings 19:4-18. Elijah, after giving himself in ministry to the point of total exhaustion, asks God to take his life. He falls asleep and then an angel wakes him up and has him eat twice. Then God comes to him, first in a word and then the Lord’s presence passes by. The struggle with depression is real. But, God does not leave us alone with it. If we let Him, He will come to us. He will meet us in the middle of our worst times, with the intent to lift us up.
It wasn’t exactly easy for Elijah to hear or see God either. We often want a drastic 180 degree turn. That might have been the case if God was in the wind, earthquake, or fire. But, God was in the whisper. He was personal. He was close. He listens to Elijah and guides him back to where he should have been the whole time, with the people that God hand placed in his life to help him.
Maybe you are struggling with depression. My prayer is that you would continue to seek God when it is the last thing you want to do, respond to the whisper that is sure to come, and find hope in this story: that the greatest prophet in the Old Testament had the same struggle, and God used him in mighty ways.