“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree, and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough. Now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” And he laid down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.”
(1 Kings 19:4–5)
This is one of the most humbling, encouraging, sobering moments in the life of the Prophet Elijah. And, I think, it’s a moment we all can identify with in different ways, and some of us in particular. Basically, what happens here in this story is in 1 Kings 18, Elijah prays, and he sees fire fall from heaven. And then after years of drought, he prays and sees rain come from the sky. God is showing his power in unmistakable, glorious, breathtaking ways. But then right after that, in the beginning of 1 Kings 19, Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife, threatens to kill Elijah.
Even in the depths of discouragement and depression, God is with you. Know that in whatever you are walking through, God has not stopped loving you.
And immediately, Elijah starts to run. And he basically gets to the point where he sits down, and he says to God, “Take away my life. I don’t want to live anymore.” Elijah, is at a low point, he is discouraged, depressed to the point where he doesn’t even want to continue with life. And I’m guessing that many people who are listening to this right now have gotten to that point where they’re so discouraged by any number of different things, maybe even depressed, and wondering if you even want to live, and just to be vulnerable. I’ve been at points like this, and I’m guessing many others who are listening to this have as well. And what I love about 1 Kings chapter 19, is that as Elijah’s is running from God, and discouraged, and wanting to end his life, basically, God meets him right where he is, and nourishes him. An angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And the rest of the story goes on. And God feeds and nourishes Elijah at this low point in his life.
And then in the verses that follow, God reveals His glory in an all together new way to Elijah, but it’s not in the grand like, fire falling from heaven, not in the glorious like, rain falling from the sky for the first time in years. Instead, it’s a still small voice, where God speaks to Elijah’s heart, and reminds him that he is not alone, that God is with him, and that God is committed to giving him everything he needs to stand up under the discouragement and depression that he feels. And I just want to encourage you, whether you’re at that point right now, if you’ve been at that point in the past, or if you ever find yourself at that point in the future, know that in the depth of discouragement or depression, or even wondering if you want live, that God of the universe does not leave you alone, he is with you. He loves you. He wants to nourish and feed and care for you, in every way your soul needs. You are not alone and he is committed, God is committed to providing for everything you need to be able to stand under the depths of discouragement and depression.
So God I pray, I pray for people who are there right now. Some people who are listening to this, I’m guessing are there right now who are in the depths of discouragement, maybe even depression, experiencing these kind of thoughts and emotions today, over the last week, over the last month. And God I just pray, I pray that they would know that you are with them. I pray they would know they’re not alone. When they feel alone, may they know that you are with them. Just like you pursued Elijah in 1 Kings 19, as he is running, you are running to him. God may people know this, who are walking through discouragement, depression right now, God may they know that you have not stopped pursuing them, that you love them, and you are committed to giving them everything they need to stand up under it.
God, I pray Psalm 37:24 over them, you’d uphold them with your righteous right hand, hold them up with your power, with your strength, with your comfort, with your hope, with your joy. God, I pray that all of these things, in Christ, would be theirs. Help them as they look to you to help them. As I think about the Psalm and say, “I rise before dawn and cry for help. I hope in your words.” Oh, God, we hope in your word. And we praise you, we praise you for not leaving us alone. We praise you for the life you’ve given us, and the life you’ve called us to, not a life of ease, but we’ve got a life where you promise to be with us, to help us, to strengthen us, to uphold us, to guide us, to lead us, so God I just pray all of those realities over people who are walking through discouragement, depression now or in the days ahead.
God in my own life, and any of our lives, God we pray that we would remember this picture in 1 Kings 19. And we pray that you would show your glory in our lives in fresh ways, even in the depth of discouragement and despair. We love you God, we thank you for the hope that we find in you. We look forward to the day, Jesus, when we will see your face, and there will be no more discouragement and no more despair. So, we pray that you’d help us to live, help us to live today and tomorrow, and the next day until we get to that day, in your timing, for your glory. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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