I’m tired; I’m worn. My heart is heavy.
I recently sat on the lawn of a nearby ministry, who reaches out to children with hurts and abuses, and listened as these words were sung. It spoke deep into my heart.
Do you ever feel so worn that you can’t imagine having to get up tomorrow? Life can be hard and dreams don’t always come true, regardless of what “Disney” would tell you. Often, we’re left thinking something must be wrong with us when we feel down. Many people are depressed, and while it is necessary to seek professional help for depression, there are some simple things you can do to fight these desperate feelings.
Depression is not just a non-believer problem, either. Because you put your hope in the Lord, doesn’t mean you never experience anxiety or depression. But unfortunately, a misunderstanding of scripture and trite responses to people’s pain can cause those suffering to continue in their isolation.
Thankfully, we aren’t left alone as the Lord guides us through some responses and reasons for depression in scripture.
In 1 Kings 18-19, Elijah-a prophet of the Lord-who God spoke directly to-had just experienced what we might call a “mountain top” moment. Except that Elijah was actually on a mountain fighting the prophets of Baal. Deciding whose god was truly God, Elijah called down fire from heaven and the Lord delivered. Meanwhile, the desperate prophets of Baal also called down fire from heaven while chanting and cutting themselves. The Lord delivered Elijah and showed His immense glory by sending a consuming fire from heaven. You’d think he would be elated.
But often, after or even as “mountain top moments” are occurring, there is stirring in the background. Noise or frustrations are brewing, leaving euphoria quickly in the distance.
Elijah’s life was suddenly in real jeopardy as Jezebel, the Queen, called for his head by that time tomorrow. She didn’t just want him dead; the hourglass was flipped.
Elijah ran scared and retreated to the desert. He was alone, tired from running and just wanted to die.
“It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He was worn, tired, and depressed as he lie down under a tree.
How? You might ask, when he had just watched God do nothing less than extraordinary. Calling down fire from heaven and turning offerings into ashes, wasn’t commonplace; it was miraculous to every witnessing eye. But the tables had quickly turned for Elijah and since he was faithfully serving the Lord, he, like us at times, wondered if he could just catch a break!
Elijah was also very much alone in the desert. And this is where the Enemy, Satan has many of you. Alone and tired, over worked, frustrated and isolated. You lack real community with people who will speak the truth to you and you are so tired, you don’t know how you can keep going one more day. You are his prime target.
I believe this word is for you: Rest.
Like Elijah, you need rest. God allowed Elijah to just sleep, which was necessary at that time for him. He had used everything within him and had nothing left to give. Have you felt this? Moms? I know you have.
After some time, an angel woke him and provided food and water. He told him to “get up and eat”. In other words, “take care of the basics”. And perhaps you need to hear that today. Take care of yourself in the basic ways. Eat regularly. Get sufficient rest; even take a nap if necessary. Drink lots of water and exercise. Take care of your “temple”.
Elijah went back to sleep and the angel woke him another time, providing food and water. This is proof that God cares about your deepest and most basic needs. Rest now, because as was true for Elijah, we’ve still got work to do!