1 Kings 19:4 “While he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”” (I recommend reading the entire chapter).
This passage teaches us how a man of God becomes depressed and anxious and it was a series of events that led him to this crisis. The passage allows us to recognize the determining factors of the crisis as well as how to make it through it.
- He runs away in fear of the threats he receives. This threat is what triggers the crisis with a feeling of great fear. What is going to happen? How am I going to do this? Many people worry about this same thing; something they can’t control. There’s a desire to escape, simply to run away.
- Another factor is that crises are the product of several situations that come together at a given time and cause tension. This results in confusing feelings of fear, anxiety, and sadness.
- The verse shows the effect emotions have because the person feels as if he can’t take it anymore. Some have thoughts of taking their own life, “I have had enough, Lord… take my life…”
- Feelings of discomfort arise. He feels unworthy of being helped: “I am no better than my ancestors”. He feels like a bad person and is filled with guilt.
All these feelings are amidst great mental turmoil that hinders our reasoning and logical thinking. This, in turn, prevents finding an appropriate way out of the crisis because this comes with the thinking “I can’t take any more of this”. The period can be quite long. Many isolate themselves in their room, in their bed and do not react to anything, thinking “where is God in all of this?”. They feel alone and defenseless.
Some Christians and non-Christians may be experiencing a crisis at this time. In the story of Elijah, we see that God’s treatment is like that of a father who cares for his son who is experiencing a crisis whether it be of pain or sadness. Verses 5 to 8 of the chapter show how God treats Elijah. He lets him rest, feeds him, gives him water, takes care of him and helps him refocus so that the prophet continues to carry out his work without recrimination.
This story teaches that you can’t control difficult situations but you can control how you respond to them. So, like the prophet you must stop to allow:
- God to take care of you. He knows your needs and what you’re going through.
- As you stop you must rest and feed yourself to continue your life and make it through the crisis. The wonderful thing is that He is in control of your life and your circumstances whether negative or not. Be still before God and He will bring you through.
- Do not isolate yourself. Talk to your loved ones, your friends, the pastor or the counselor. This will help give you perspective on your situation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. He will give you the courage to make decisions that will transform your situation.
May God bless all you do today.
Dr. Miguel and Irene Garita.
Family Care Ministry, Church of the Nazarene Mesoamerica Region