‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ 1 Kings 19:7 NIV
If you are experiencing depression, it is important to seek the support of a medical professional or counsellor. But God also has some wisdom. Take care of your physical needs. Elijah was exhausted, so he stretched out under a tree and fell asleep. ‘All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.’ (1 Kings 19:5–6 NIV) Then the angel came to him a second time and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’ (1 Kings 19:7 NIV) So he ate and drank and was strengthened by the food.
You can exhaust yourself in a good cause and pray until you’re blue in the face, but it won’t do any good until you learn to exercise wisdom concerning the physical needs of your body. God’s initial remedy for Elijah’s depression called for a change of diet and proper rest. A good night’s sleep or a holiday can do wonders for your attitude. Be wise; when you’re physically and mentally drained, you’re vulnerable. Notice, God didn’t scold Elijah by saying, ‘You coward! What are you doing here in the desert?’ No, He restored him physically.
And that was the starting point. So if you’re depressed, your first step towards recovery may be to get in shape physically. Take care of your health needs. Perhaps you need to change your diet, get more sleep, or begin an exercise programme. Physical health has a profound influence on your moods. Can God heal you in answer to prayer? Yes (see James 5:14). But He expects you to use faith—and wisdom!
SoulFood: 1 Chron 10:1–12:22, John 8:42–59, Ps 123, Pr 25:18–20
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023