Dealing with depression (2)
The Bible says: ‘When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba… He left his young servant there and…went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all – just to die’ (vv. 3-4 MSG).
What was Elijah’s mistake?
The same one we sometimes make when we’re depressed: we focus on our feelings rather than on the facts of the situation. It happens when we get down. Elijah felt like a failure because of one incident that intimidated him. He thought to himself, ‘I’m such a coward – why am I running?’ And because he felt like a failure he assumed he was a failure.
Feelings often lie; and when we focus on how we feel instead of focusing on reality we get into trouble. For instance, when we make a mistake in one area, we tend to feel like we’re failures at all of life in general. That’s a misconception. Everyone is entitled to make mistakes, and you can fail in some areas without being a failure as a person.
Mental health experts encourage us to vent our feelings and get them out. But that’s not the complete answer, because feelings are notoriously unreliable. God doesn’t tell us to get in touch with our feelings, but to get in touch with the truth of His Word because ultimately that’s what sets us free (see John 8:32). To overcome depression you must study God’s Word and practice bringing your feelings into alignment with what it says.
‘He…collapsed…wanting…to be done with it all.’ 1 Kings 19:4 MSG