Too often I find us trying to treat symptoms rather than the sources of our struggles. There is a time and a place to ask "what?" but there is also a time and a place to ask "why?"
O.S. Hawkins identifies 3 primary symptoms of depression and I find I agree with them all.
Back to Elijah. One of the first symptoms I find associated with depression is isolation. Pulling away from those who love us most can be the most dangerous because it leaves us alone with our thoughts...which are too often inaccurate. Even Elijah detached himself from community when he went into the wilderness and sat under a broom tree (1 Kings 19:4). I can't help but think that if Elijah was surrounded by those who cared about him, his pain could have been eased.
Despair / Discouragement
Elijah went so far as to say "It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers!" Elijah was experiencing hopelessness; he lost all will to live. To tie in the source of anxiety, you can see how the fear and fatigue fogged up his thinking. We are not depressed because we are discouraged....we are discouraged because we are depressed. Look at the source, not just the symptom!
Elijah was deceived and was fed by incorrect thinking as he stated, "I alone am left" (v.10). God quickly reminded him that there were 7,000 other people who had not bowed down to the world's false gods. Elijah was so fixed and consumed by his problems he couldn't see the clear picture.
So what's the SOLUTION?
First look at your physical needs. I don't think it's an accident that Elijah immediately fell asleep and that the first thing the angel that woke him up did was to say, "Arise and eat" (1 Kings 19:5). How you fuel your body and keep it in good shape can be some of the best ways to fight depression (spoiler alert...be on the look out for a post under Fitness about the connection between faith and fitness).
Look at the personal solution. I know I have been in places where I knew God didn't want me there, but I would keep hiding. God then comes in, in that still small voice, and asks "What are you doing here?" That question will be very personal for each one of us. Don't run from the question.
Where does this leave you? That's between you and God. This post was simply to turn your attention from yourself and to the Lord who is right there ready to restore, refresh, and renew you. Look up.
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!