Even the greatest prophets of God struggled. Some even struggled with depression, fear, and fatigue. Elijah, no doubt, was a great prophet of God who, by God’s power, performed many miracles and accomplished incredible feats.
In 1st Kings 19 we learn that Elijah has just slain the false prophets of Baal, a false god whom King Ahab & his wife Jezebel worshipped. Indeed, many Israelites had begun to worship this false god as well. Elijah takes a stand in a mighty way and now Jezebel vows to kill him (vs 2).
Elijah’s response doesn’t mirror his most recent accomplishment, nor does it reflect his trust in God. He’s scared and he runs away to hide from his attackers. Alone and hiding in a cave, Elijah falls into a pit of depression, anxiety, despair and begs God to take his life. He doesn’t want to live anymore.
In essence, Elijah goes off, throws a fit, and wants to give up. God doesn’t condemn Elijah for feeling this way. Instead, God allows Eljah to rest. Then, God sends an angel to feed Elijah, and let’s him rest some more.
Never underestimate the power of a nap and food. Elijah was hangry (hungry-angry). He was tired of all the trials and tribulations that came with following God, and he just had a real human moment.
Elijah speaks his peace, and God simply asks him,“What are you doing here, Elijah?” as if to say, “Come on. We’ve still got work to do.”
God speaks to Elijah in a real way and reminds him that God is still in control, things aren’t as bad as they seem, and there’s still work to be done. The story ends well, and Elijah steps from his cave and continues to follow God giving hope to all who have ever felt afraid, tired, depressed, frustrated or wanting to die.
God hears us. He speaks to us. He is with us in our cave of despair. He reminds us all hope is not lost and there’s still work to be done. We aren’t stepping out of our cave alone. We step out, and walk with God.