1 Kings 19:4 Elijah “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.’”
This is depression, even suicidal depression, isn’t it? We may not know the dark places that linger in our souls or the souls of others, even those to whom we are closest. Despite grand successes (read the previous two chapters) Elijah felt like a failure. The phrase “I am no better than my ancestors” is intriguing. We all go through our childhood thinking at times “I’m never going to do that or be that way when I’m a parent” and then we go on to, as the psychologists phrase it, try to reproduce our family of origin. We think we are going to make such progress; in our careers, our standard of living, our contribution to the corporate good, the Kingdom of God, but too often it doesn’t look that way in the end. Even Elijah, one of the greatest of the Old Testament prophets could have such moments, and have it recorded for all of us to reference. There is more to the story and we will look at it in the coming weeks, but we can’t gloss over this part of it. This week, are there ways you feel like Elijah? Might you need your own “day’s journey into the wilderness” to bring them before God?