Nobody is immune to depression, but it seems as if some Christians allot themselves an extra burden. We may feel guilt and shame by irrationally believing that Christians should never be depressed. However, there are many examples in the bible where believers struggle with depression, and we see this as a repeating theme.
Just one example is Elijah, who went from the mountaintop to the valley of despair.
Read 1 Kings 19:1-13
Elijah was the Iron Man of the Old Testament, who saw revival in the nation and raised a widow’s son from the dead. He called down fire from heaven, but he spiralled down and became so overwhelmed that he prayed he might die.
In 1 Kings 19 we see God’s care for Elijah.
He sent an angel who told Elijah to rise and eat, good food was ready for him; and then he was told to eat and rest again. His physical needs were met.
Elijah believed he was the only one in Israel who was faithful, but God helped him to get a different perspective. God did an inner work in Elijah by speaking to him in a still small voice.
His mental and spiritual needs were met.
Only God can meet our deepest needs. He wants to heal the whole person; we see this in the ‘Healing Model’ of Jesus.
Jesus also needed to eat, rest and listen to His heavenly father.
What helped Elijah will help you!
Look after your physical health; a well-balanced healthy diet, exercise and sleep.
Get life back into perspective; share your frustrations with others and of course with God. Talking helps to get rid of destructive feelings.
Examine wrong conclusions about yourself and your circumstances; don’t get isolated, Elijah was sent back to work.
Tears are a God-given release, and sometimes they must fall. Iron Man Elijah, strong independent alpha male, had a reservoir of tears.
God shows sheer grace and tenderness to His children so be kind to yourself, and trust Him a little bit more.
Sue Atkinson: Climbing Out of Depression
Veronica Zundel: Crying for the Light…readings and reflections.