I want to talk to you today about a subject that many don’t want to either talk about or even listen to others talk about. That subject is depression. Did you know that one in ten adults in the United States struggles with depression and it’s common in older people. Feeling sad or “low” is just one symptom of depression.
dead as her prophets. Elijah ran in fear for his life to Beersheba, where he left his servant, and then ran another day’s journey into the desert. There he collapsed under a broom tree and prayed for death saying, “I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave,” and fell into an exhausted sleep. At this point an angel awakened him and told him to get up and eat. God had provided bread and water for him and he consumed them both and fell asleep again. Again, an angel appeared to him and told him to eat some more as God had some work for him to do.
- When you wear yourself out, you’re vulnerable to depression. Elijah had just experienced a major victory, but he’s worn out. It was an all-day event. What does he do? He takes off and runs to Jezreel which is 25 miles away. Then he hears that Jezebel has a death warrant out for him and he panics and runs to Beersheba which is another 100 miles, drops off his servant and runs another day’s journey into the desert. There he falls, exhausted under a broom bush just praying for death. God did not criticize Elijah, he didn’t lecture him, he certainly didn’t tell him to just “snap out of it.” No, he had him eat and sleep and then do it again until he was thoroughly rested and refreshed.
- When you’re depressed, you tend to shut people out. Elijah dropped his sidekick off and continued on alone. Make sure that you don’t shut people out. Your friends and family are there to help you. They love you and the worst thing you could do is isolate yourself from others. God made us to be in community. Don’t give in to thoughts such as, “I can handle this alone,” or “I just don’t feel like being around people anymore,” or “No one would understand my feelings anyway.” And don’t pretend everything is okay, when inside you’re “caving in.”
The pandemic has touched the lives of all us to some degree and many of us have lost close friends and/or family members to it. Special days tends to be a “downer” for widows and other pressures of life are always on the verge of closing in on us. There’s more than enough as we age to threaten our mental health so we have to be on the alert and be wise in how we respond.