while he himself 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.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. 1 Kings 19:4-5 NIV
I sat with him on the couch and we read Psalm 23 together slowly. I prayed and gave many words of encouragement. I remembered that a simple exercise like walking could be helpful. I suggested that we take a walk around the house together. We stood up and I offered my hand to hold for balance and comfort. We took one step toward the door and then he stopped. “I can’t. I just don’t have it within me.”
“I’ve had enough, Lord,” is more than just a statement of frustration. It can be a declaration that you’ve fallen “below the line“. Your emotional reserves are depleted and your will power to move forward has become paralyzed behind fear. What can make matters worse, rational thinking of the way that things really are, does little to nothing to help trigger the mind back to healthy functioning. You’ve settled into depression.
There is a whole system of professional help to walk with a depressed individual back to healthy living. I am not a counselor or in that medical profession. If you find yourself feeling “below the line”, get connected with those who can help. However, this story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 gives some empathetic principles to begin walking toward restoration.
Elijah had enough. Just days before he called down fire from Heaven and God answered his prayer. He prayed in faith for rain to come after he had prayed for a famine that lasted 3 ½ years. He saw the people return to God and reject the prophets of Baal. Now Jezebel decreed that he should die and he ran off into the desert alone. His emotional reserves were depleted “below the line.” He had nothing more to give and no emotional strength to continue. You are not alone or the first person to need help.
Elijah retreated to a solitary place where he could be refreshed. No ministry. No need to pray for miracles. No one was around him asking for his help. He found a place where he was alone with God. I’ve found that taking short trips to mountains, the beach or outdoor parks can be a place to breathe in the refreshing from weariness.
Elijah slept. God gives to His beloved even in their sleep. God allows our bodies to be replenished with good healthy rest. I know there can be an issue with avoiding life and getting too much sleep. Most Americans are too busy burning the candle at both ends and not getting good rest. Ask God to restore your body, soul and spirit with good sleep each night before going to bed.
Elijah ate for nourishment. The Angel brought food to Elijah and told him this was needed to bring refreshing to his body. Eating too much and eating for comfort actually dulls the senses. Make the right choices for healthy eating. Daniel and his friends were physically sharper after 10 days of healthy food choices. Ask God to reveal any patterns of comfort food eating that keeps you from addressing the issues causing stress. Make the necessary adjustments. Drink more water than any other drink.
Elijah needed the help from another. An angel awoke Elijah twice and served him a meal. The angel also gave verbal instructions to guide Elijah. When you are living “below the line”, it is time to trust and lean into the help that others can give. Medical professionals and counselors exist to help guide people to health. Ask the Lord for supportive family members and friends to walk with you. Be thankful and receptive of the help that is being offered.
Finally, include the prayer of faith for your recovery. Jesus declared, “Lazarus, come forth!”. He was dead physically, Jesus words brought him back to life. He still needed the help of friends to remove the funeral wrappings. Read your Bible aloud, for faith is increased through hearing the Word of God. Prayer for restoration is not the only answer, but it should be counted as equally important in the recovery process. Words have the power of life.
If you find yourself living “below the line”, seek some help and follow the pattern of Elijah. Give yourself permission to move toward healthy living. I pray in agreement with you now. “Come to Jesus you who are weary and heavy laden, and receive rest for your body, emotions, soul, and spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Do you have a story of health coming back from living “below the line“? I would love to hear it. May God’s blessings be continually on your heart and life.
Blessing Love y’all