Did you know that some of the most powerful servants of God had low points where they wished to die? God deals with us from the root of where we are, not where we should be. Christianity shouldn’t have an Instagram veneer; God put these disparate accounts in the Bible to encourage us to be honest. We aren’t gods; no matter how powerfully God uses us, we can get to dark and desperate places. In the next few weeks, we will look into powerful servants of God who had very low times. Through them, we can learn to be honest with ourselves and God and know that God’s love and practical wisdom can help us through some of our lowest points.
This blog is for study and encouragement purposes. I’m not a therapist; this is a Bible Study blog about suffering, and this isn’t meant as a substitute for the advice of a physician, psychotherapist, or other medical professional.
God epically used the prophet Elijah. He walked in an unworldly power; he was wise, charismatic, and sometimes funny. God used him mightily as a prophet for kings and leaders of the known world. Elijah gets a bad rap because immediately after an epic showdown with over 300 prophets of Baal, he heard the threat of Jezebel, got scared, and asked God to take his life. For someone who felt God’s power surge through him and performed miracles, you would think he was above this, but he wasn’t. God made sure his prayer of desperation was in the Bible as an encouragement and to give us some wisdom.
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 no better than my fathers.”1 Kings 19:4
Powerful to Pitiful
How could such a powerful guy wind up in such a pitiful place? Does God get angry and correct him? No, God gets to the root of the matter. Elijah just had an incredible battle. It’s worth the read 1 Kings 18:20-40 gotten worn down and needed rest. We need some recovery time when God uses us in such a demanding way. We can see the honesty of such a powerful man at a low and how he needed rest and restoration. Persistent negative thoughts are red flags. When they come, it’s important to find out why they are coming. Have we been taking care of our basic needs? Powerhouse Elijah needed rest, sleep, and nourishment. Let’s not take pride in thinking we can neglect our physical and emotional health just because God uses us.
5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an [b]angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on [c]coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the [d]angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.1 Kings 19:5
To The Light
Elijah was in such despair he asked God to please take his life. God didn’t get angry, preach to him, or laugh, but he gave him the shelter of a tree, food, and a nap. Elijah was the most powerful and influential person in the world then, and just after one of the biggest miracles of his life, he was so scared and depleted that he just wanted to die. It’s essential for us to identify when we need a break. We must take action when our emotions are frayed and speak negatively to our souls like it’s the truth. We should step away from it all, rest, and recover, but we must share with others we are safe with and be honest with God. Something about bringing them to the light makes them more manageable. God’s word gives light to our path to lead and guide us.
Your word is a lamp to my feetPsalm 119:5
And a light to my path.
It’s so important that we take the basics very seriously. Elijah left for a different place and sought help. Part of God’s restoration plan may be counseling. God gives us one another, but also He provides professionals. Trained and experienced professionals can test our physical, mental, and emotional health, but we also need to look at the basics of rest, sleep, and nourishment. If we are depressed, we are depleted, let’s do the basics that need to be done, but let’s also reach out to God, to others, and to a professional so we can
Thinking About Suicide?
If you are thinking about suicide, consider this. Most suicide survivors have one thing in common: they didn’t want to die; they just wanted the pain to stop. There are other options, and sometimes the pain is so great, or the trouble seems so big that it feels impossible, and death is the only way out. It’s a deception that’s hard to see. The thoughts are a sign that you need to speak with someone. I don’t have the skills or training to counsel anyone about suicide, and I won’t, but organizations are created for that purpose. You aren’t alone.
God loves you and has a plan for your life.
This is the number of the suicide hotline. Call them at 1-800-273-8255 or check out their site. There’s a lot of helpful information there.