I’ve been down, depressed and disillusioned and people have given me lots of advice.
“Pull yourself up by your boot straps!”
“You’ve got lots of things to be happy for.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone that can do anything by pulling on their bootstraps other than get their boots on. Actually, all these suggestions seem to push me deeper into denial and entrench me further into insanity.
I’m glad people care enough for me to try to help even though I can’t take this kind of advice any more.
Elijah faced a battle with his emotional well-being and found himself sleeping under broom trees and in caves. God didn’t really give him advice.
1 Kings 19:10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
I have to admit, I’ve experienced some mighty low lows and yet, I don’t recall a whole slew of people trying to kill me. It took a lot more than what I have seen to drive Elijah to his all-time low.
So God had Elijah stand outside in the midst of a lot of commotion. The wind rose and ripped rocks from the places where they rested, the ground shook and fire raged and when all that chaos stopped, God emerged in a gentle whisper.
My life seems to mainly exist of earth, wind and fire (I couldn’t help myself there), noise and forces that I know I can’t overcome. But through it all, I have to stop and listen to what lies beneath it all. I have a still, small voice that speaks to me despite feeling the wind may sweep me away, even though the ground moves under my feet and through the heat that threatens to consume me.
I don’t know what that voice said to Elijah, the Bible doesn’t say. It is probably a good thing because we humans would probably reduce it to magic chant to tell someone when they are struggling. I do know that when I stop and listen, I can hear it.
I’m sure that what you hear isn’t quite the same as what I hear. But it brings me to a place that I can leave my current situation behind.
1 Kings 19:15 Then the Lord told him, “Go…”