READ: 1 Kings 19-20
THINK: It has always amazed me how quickly Elijah went from the incredibly spiritual high of seeing God reveal himself by fire in front of all of Israel and defeating the evil prophets of Baal to a total depression and asking God to just take his life. It seems crazy, right? After an experience like that he should never have come crashing back down and felt dejected and hopeless, right?
But he did…and I find that incredibly encouraging! Why? Because the same thing happens to me. I can recall so many spiritual highs – after camps, retreats, worship nights, mission trips, great moments in my life, et cetera. But so many times I’ve felt like I came crashing back to reality. Not always, but more than once those great moments have been followed by low ones. And I’m not the only one. Elijah had the same thing happen to him. So did Moses and David and Peter and…you?
I love what Oswald Chambers writes about feeling depressed and the way that God cares for and relates to us in those times:
“‘Arise and eat.’ The angel did not give Elijah a vision, or explain the Scriptures to him, or do anything remarkable; he told Elijah to do the most ordinary thing, that is, to get up and eat. If we were never depressed we should not be alive; it is the nature of a crystal never to be depressed. A human being is capable of depression, otherwise there would be no capacity for exaltation. There are things that are calculated to depress, things that are of the nature of death; and in taking an estimate of yourself, always take into account the capacity for depression.
When the Spirit of God comes He does not give us visions, He tells us to do the most ordinary things conceivable. Depression is apt to turn us away from the ordinary commonplace things of God’s creation, but whenever God comes, the inspiration is to do the most natural simple thing – the things we would never have imagined God was in, and as we do them we find He is there. The inspiration which comes to us in this way is an initiative against depression; we have to do the next thing and do it in the inspiration of God. If we do a thing in order to overcome depression, we deepen the depression; but if the Spirit of God makes us feel intuitively that we must do the thing, and we do it, the depression is gone. Immediately we arise and obey, we enter on a higher plane of life.”
PRAY: Thank God for the incredible moments in life when he reveals himself and we experience him most powerfully. Then thank him for caring about us and being present in the lowest moments when we are broken and depressed.