Here is an example of depression in the Bible. Elijah, after just having seen God’s marvelous power, runs for his life and hides. His fear, anxiety and fatigue result in suicidal thoughts.
1Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
Pay attention to what happens next!
1Ki 19:5-13 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
The Still Small Voice! Listen to it…
And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
…and come out of that cave!
The CAVE represents SELF-PITY, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, and DOUBT in the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life. We often get stuck in these “Caves”. Self-Pity is a CAVE we often hide in because we refuse to see the hand of God in bad situations. We forget that “All things work together for OUR good” and that Jesus is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR faith. SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS is a CAVE too Elijah was “smelling himself” because he felt he was the ONLY one that was serving God…..that is a dangerous place for believers to be in. We can easily become like the Pharisees and become so “heavenly minded” we are no earthly good. And the last CAVE is DOUBT…..we walk by FAITH and NOT by SIGHT, everything isn’t always going to LOOK like God is in it, but we MUST trust in the OMNISCIENCE of God.
Mark H. Stevens, Th.D., CPRP