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Who is Worthy? A Depressed Prophet

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:3-4


Depression. As a pediatric nurse, I can speak to the widespread issue of depression among our youth. At the time of this writing, one of the biggest concerns in pediatric healthcare is trying to find a place for the patients suffering from mental health issues. Suicide attempts are at an all time high in teens. Depression is real and often comes after being on the mountain top in life.

Elijah had literally just been on the mountain top in this passage. He has come to King Ahab and challenged the prophets of the fake god Baal. He watched as they made fools of themselves trying to get fire to fall from the sky. Yet, after he had soaked his altar with preciously scarce water, God burned up his sacrifice and alter with a fire from Heaven. How wonderful must that have felt to be the one that God allowed to bring fire from Heaven! I would say he was on a high.

Then a few verses later, Jezebel the Queen threatens to kill him and he runs for his life. Suddenly, after we read that he has brought fire from the sky, brought a boy to life again and maintained food for a family with God’s power, he is asking God to take his life. He tells God he has done enough and he is ready to be taken.

Wow! He must have been really depressed. That depression seems to have stemmed from his fear of what Jezebel was going to do to him. I also wonder how much of that depression came from him coming down off that mountain top of emotions that had come with the miracle of the fire only to find his life was in danger?

Often we find ourselves living in good times that are full of blessing and hope. Then, when difficulty comes, we aren’t ready to cope with the emotions that come with the trial. We can’t find any hope or joy in our circumstances and we explain away the good things that have happened in the past.

If you can find no hope then depression will come like a tsunami, wiping out who you are as it sweeps across your mind. Just like Elijah you might find you are ready to die, or maybe you have been there already and found a reason to live. At any rate, believing in God does not make us immune to depression.

What I find absolutely beautiful is that in his depression, God gave him what he needed. First, he gave Elijah rest. After all the excitement and running he needed rest. He fell asleep. The angel of the Lord came to feed him. Then he rested more, and God fed him again.

The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 1 Kings 19:7

He gave him enough to last until he made it to Mount Horeb, a journey that took 40 days and 40 nights. In his depression and trial, God gave Elijah exactly what he needed. He will do this for you as well.


1. Are you struggling with hopelessness? Are you struggling with depression? God’s word can help, but sometimes professionals need to help as well. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom. Trust and ask Him to give you exactly what you need.

Mindset change: Write about a time that God gave you exactly what you needed when you were in a trial. As you go through your day think about this and praise God for it on at least three different occasions.

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Jul 20, 2023

Depression can come so easily sometimes sneaking up unexpectedly and challenging your faith. scripture has brought me back to center to many times restoring trust in God.

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