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UCB Word For You

Feeling depressed (1)

06 November 2021
‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.’

If you’re experiencing depression, it’s important to seek the support of a doctor or counsellor. But God also has some wisdom for us when we’re feeling depressed. Over the next few days, let’s take a look at how God helped Elijah when he was experiencing depression (you can read about this in 1 Kings 19), and what we can learn from this. First, we need to take care of our physical needs. Elijah was exhausted, so he stretched out under a tree and fell asleep. ‘All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again’ (v.5-6 NIV). Then the angel came to him a second time and said, ‘Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you’ (v.7 NIV). So he ate and drank and was strengthened by the food. God didn’t get cross with Elijah, scold him for running away, demand an explanation, imply his present condition was caused by a lack of faith, or put the blame on Elijah in any way. He simply met Elijah’s most pressing needs by giving him food and allowing him to rest. Depression goes beyond just feeling sad – it can impact our mental and physical health too. And when we’re physically and mentally drained, we’re vulnerable. We might not feel like taking care of ourselves properly. In those times, let’s try to remember that God’s starting point was to restore Elijah physically and help him regain his strength. And if we’re supporting someone who’s experiencing depression, let’s follow God’s example by refusing to criticise or get frustrated, and instead start by looking at how we can meet their immediate needs.

What Now?

If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, see what you can do to meet their immediate needs. And if you’re struggling at the moment, remember to be kind to yourself, just as God wants to be kind to you.

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