Under the broom tree

Posted: July 28, 2012 in Fear, Hope
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have been reading a bit about Elijah recently. From the high of Mount Carmel he sank to the low of solitude under a bush in the desert, afraid and suicidal. Some people make a lot of the fact that he has forgotten God’s glory manifested on the mountain (see 1 Kings 18), and that he is wading in a mire of self pity. But I prefer to think of Elijah as overwhelmed, and depressed. He is clearly looking at the world through the wrong lens.

Yes, in some way, he has just been on that mountain top. But that didn’t mean that all his problems disappeared, and that Jezebel no longer wanted to kill him. The strain of the incident must have worn him down, until he could take no more, and then he just runs.

Basically, he fell into the trap that we can all fall into so easily. He got hungry (why the angel of the Lord gave him food), angry with the prophets of Baal, lonely (he thought he was the only person left who worshipped Yahweh), and tired. Fatal in his mind. So he prayed that the Lord would take away his life.

Luckily for us and him, that was not a prayer that God answered. He provided through food and water, and an experience that he would never forget.

So even heroes struggle sometimes. Even heroes get depressed and can’t see a way out of their problems.

But thankfully God can. And he does.

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