‘The Lord asked, “Elijah, why are you here?”’ 1 Kings 19:9 CEV
Tell God your frustrations. After being restored through proper food and rest, Elijah travelled for forty days. Then he went into a cave and spent the night. In the morning, the Lord asked him, ‘Why are you here?’ Elijah answered: ‘I’ve always done my best to obey You. But Your people have broken their solemn promise to You. They have torn down Your altars and killed all Your prophets, except me. And now they are even trying to kill me!’ (1 Kings 19:10 CEV)
Elijah poured out all his feelings, and God allowed him to let off steam. He wasn’t shocked by Elijah’s complaints. Sometimes it’s helpful to share your feelings with a trusted friend. It’s cathartic, a cleaning out, a venting of all the things that have been pushed down inside you that are contributing to your feelings of depression. And Elijah had plenty of stuff pushed down inside. Notice the emotions he experienced.
He was afraid. Then he felt resentment, followed by low self-esteem and guilt. ‘I’ve had enough… I’m no better off than my ancestors.’ (1 Kings 19:4 CEV) He was angry because he had worked hard for nothing. He was lonely to the point of despair: ‘Now they are even trying to kill me!’ He was worried.
When fear, resentment, low self-esteem, guilt, anger, loneliness, and worry are combined, it can open the door to depression! So God let him spill it all out. He basically said, ‘Elijah, what’s frustrating you? What’s eating you up?’ and Elijah poured it all out. So when you are depressed, what you need to do is—take it to God in prayer.
SoulFood: Exodus 20:1–17, Matt 5:1–12
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023