We all have a time in our lives that we just want to run away and hide under the sand and hope against all hope that all will be well. No matter how strong or anointed you are, trials and tribulations will come.
The question is ‘What do you do when you feel like God has forgotten you?’
The story of Elijah in the book of (1 Kings 19) in the bible comes to mind, Elijah was a prophet of God and not just any prophet, he was a very powerful and anointed man of God. Elijah performed many miracles in his time, one of them is found in the book of (1 King 18-19). Elijah had just had a spectacular mountaintop experience of God’s glory. He called down fire from Heaven to burn down the sacrifices by Baal prophets and on top of that he converted many souls to the kingdom of God and he killed all the prophets of Baal. What an exploit in the name of the Lord. He should be happy and on top of the world right? If that happened in our generation, the social networks would be shut down because the video would go viral. All the major news outlets would have definitely covered the story. But instead Elijah received one threat from a woman and this great man of God sank into depression and all of a sudden he has forgotten all the miracles and awesome power of God. The bible says Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say ‘May the gods deal with me be it severely if by tomorrow l do not make your life like that of one of them’ what makes this powerful man of God flee for his life after this threat? Was he afraid of dying? Or could it be that he was so tired mentally and physically that he could not think straight?
Have you ever found yourself in a fearful position that you are contemplating suicide because of the pressure and you can not even remember your past victory? Elijah became suicidal after receiving the threat, he wanted to die. He said to God to take him home, l guess he was too smart to take his own life knowing he will go to hell, so he asked God to do it for him. When you find yourself saying words like ‘I have had enough, I am no better than my ancestors’ that’s the sign that you are sinking into depression or you are simply exhausted and you need refreshing. The Bible says Elijah left his servant while he himself went a days journey into the desert to feel sorry for himself. That’s another sign, when you are withdrawn from people the question is; Do you withdraw from people to seek God or you just want to be by yourself to feel sorry for yourself like Elijah. If you allow depression to hit you, you will become irritable and full of self pity and before you realise it, you have forgotten that God is able to deliver you and you will be having a self pity party all by yourself and really believe you are alone and no one cares. Maybe if Elisha was with Elijah, he would have reminded him of God’s mighty hand on his life. He probably would also remind him of how he called down fire and killed 400 Baal prophets and how he can call on the same God to destroy Jezebel. That might encourage him, but he would rather be alone. One of Satan’s trick is to take you away from God’s presence and fill your mind with thoughts of defeat.
At this point God doesn’t leave his prophet without help. He sent an angel to minister to him, not only mentally but feed him with food for the journey ahead. God knows how to get through to us at the lowest time of our lives. I remember ages ago, i was so down and l was very low and just like Elijah, l just wanted to be alone and feel sorry for myself. While l was crying and very discouraged, l started to hear a song in my spirit, it was a song my father used to sing to me every time i cried when l was young. It got my attention and I remembered saying to myself ‘wow that is the song my father used to sing to me’ and at that point l heard the Lord say to me ‘Yes, but now your Heavenly Father is singing the song to you’ and he gave me the scripture (Zephaniah 3 vs 17) He will rejoice over you with singing, that got me out of my lowest point.
You see God knows how to comfort us but the question is ‘Do we received the help and surrender?’ Elijah ate the food and continued the journey for another forty days and forty nights. Sometimes as simple as it is, we might just need food and rest to continue our journey. It’s not everyday binding devil, because you might just be the one destroying your body because you are not applying wisdom. I know my daughter will be so irritable if she is hungry and it’s definitely not the right time for her to make any major decision. Pause, take a break and have a cup of tea.
Now the lord appears to Elijah. He asked him one question ‘What are you doing here Elijah?’ Wow Elijah had a lot to say! It was like, God really? Did you not see how l have been zealous for you and how everybody else has forgotten and rejected you. I am the only one left and they are trying to kill me (paraphrase). Have you ever found yourself telling God what he knows already? How you are the best worker and always ready to serve, faithful and loyal! God did not respond to his story, he just gave him an instruction of the next step. God is about to demonstrate his power to Elijah so he can remind him of his awesome power. On that mountain, God showed himself as God of fire, earthquake, in the wind, on the mountain and after all the demonstration he spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. Some days you don’t need noise, all you need is to be still in his presence. What caught my attention is that God asked the same question after all that and Elijah repeated the same story. Do you ever wonder why God will ask you the same question twice? I think sometimes it’s good to hear yourself speak and the way you can sound so stupid because you are depressed just like Elijah. At this point God had to sadly replaced Elijah because he had made up his mind to cut his assignment short. If you read this passage you will notice that God still did not respond to Elijah’s answer until after he gave him instructions of what to do, to replace himself because the vision remained and no one is irreplaceable. God now finally replied, ‘Elijah by the way l reserved seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him’. Can you imagined the look on Elijah’s face? He actually believed that he was alone and the only upright prophet. Do you always believe you are the only righteous Christian in your church or you have seen enough mess in the church and you thought everybody is the same. I have heard people say ‘All Christians are hypocrites! All pastors are fake!’ Be careful of how you talk about God’s people and don’t make a general statement like that. That’s what Elijah did, he assumed. Everybody is not the same.
When you are down and tired, be careful what you ask for and your actions especially if help is made available to you. Many servants of God are very depressed right now and members are not paying attention. When was the last time you prayed for your pastor? We have many lone rangers in the kingdom. Many depressed Christians, wounded soldiers and all we do is talk and crucify them more. I have heard of pastors committing suicide because no one cares. Some opted out for God to take them home because they are tired just like Elijah. Many times when you heard that a great man of God died, probably after battling with sickness or some kind of warfare and you are wondering but why, this story helped me to understand that you can decide to cut your assignment short when you allow depression and tiredness to take over your life and if you actually prayed and really want to died, you might just receive answers to your prayer. My mother was a prayerful woman of God and when she was ready to die, she made up her mind to go. No amount of prayer would have made her stay. She was sick and tired and she told the lord she wanted to go home and i remember i was struggling to let her go but my mother was ready to go back to her maker. I can never forget where l was sitting and God told me to let go of my mother, because i kept saying to God l am not ready to deal with it. I cried and cried and i prayed to God to give me the grace to let go, my mother died on that day to be with the Lord. So you see, let us be careful what we ask for at our vulnerable moment. The devil will not tempt you when you are in your right mind and most times just like Elijah after your big exploit or testimony.
One day l was in the room practising my keyboard and this fly kept flying over my head and l was so irritated by it and l tried to kill it, but it was too quick and l said to myself, l will wait for this fly to be still and then l can then kill it, that’s when the Holy Spirit used it to show me how the devil waits for us to be still and not active before the attack. When you are active and doing the things of God, he will wait till when you are tired and weak. So don’t wait till you are overburdened before you find time to rest, study your bible and pray. Take time out before life takes you out. Sit down before life sits you down. The bible says ‘Be self-controlled and alert’. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering (1 Peter 5 vs 8)
Always ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. One of my sons always find it difficult to ask for help and he would rather spend the time to figure things out especially if he need to ask for direction on the road, he believes he would look stupid and i’ll have to correct him. If you don’t ask for help and direction, a journey of two minutes can take you an hour and so is the journey of our lives.
Signs of depression:
- Always want to be by yourself
- No one cares
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Lonely and fearful
- Words like ‘i’ve had enough and l can never be good enough’
- Suicidal thoughts
- Building a wall around yourself
- Resist help and love
- Lost zeal for life
- Life becomes boring and routined
- Helpless and find it difficult to have fun or sex
- Angry outburst
- Feeling of guilt
- Always focus on past failures
- Crying for no reason
Finally brethren be strong in the lord. God said in the book of (Matthew 16 vs 18) ‘l will build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it’. Do you know God is referring to you and me. Who are the church? The building is not the church. Trust God to build you so the gates of hell will not prevail against you.
Finally when you are physically sick you will go to the doctor and you are not ashamed to say you are going to see the doctor, but unfortunately there are many people especially Christian that are mentally sick but too ashamed to talk or ask for help. I know in my culture If anyone tells you they are mentally ill, your immediate reaction is to run and be careful because all you can see is a mad person on the road. We need to know that mental illness is like any other sickness. Most people are emotionally sick and all they need is therapy or to speak to someone who cares enough to give a listening ear and pray for them. You need to learn to be still in the presence of God. Most times our prayer time is one way conversation with God. We do all the talking and we never wait to hear back from Him. Just imagine a friend that every time he called, it’s a one way conversation. I remember one time i was away on holiday with my husband and we saw one of his friends and l have never met a man that can talk and you don’t stand a chance of talking back. I was so tired of hearing his voice, l just wanted to scream. By the time we got back to the hotel, my husband had a serious headache. Thank God, God is not human and in his mercy he will still hear us.
In the presence of God there is fullness of joy. Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your dream and cut your life short. You can still make it, it’s never too late for God to turn your life around. Hold on change is coming.
As we enter a new year. I want you to picture yourself in a dark room and all you have is a torch light or your phone with a tiny light. Do you know as long as you hold on to that tiny light you can still see a way out. It might not be too bright, that is hope in the hopeless situation . As long as you hold on to that torch light, you have hope. When you give up, you’ve lost everything. You can’t stop a man or a woman with a dream and a vision. Elijah gave up on his purpose and God and he was replaced. I pray you will not be replaced in Jesus name. Don’t ever give up, hope there is always light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not over till God say it’s over.
If God said it, then He will bring it to pass.
Keep on sowing because at the right time you will reap abundant blessing if you don’t give up. Rain is a nuisance if you don’t have seed in the ground, but if you are a farmer and you are always sowing, then you will be excited knowing your seed is growing and harvest time is round the corner.
Hold on change is coming.
Happy prosperous new year