No. 106
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.

Do you ever have a day when you just feel sad? People sometimes say when that happens to them that they have “the blues!” We can get the blues because things go wrong, or just because we feel tired or upset. Maybe we get bored, and think, “I have nothing to do!” And then we can get the blues. Do you feel like that some days? Maybe you feel it right now. I guess you think that God’s special people in the Bible would never get sad and depressed. Not like real people! But that is not so. For the Bible tells us about real people who have their own ups and downs. I want to tell you about one man who was a great man of God, but he got very sad inside. His name was Elijah. He wanted to give up altogether1

Elijah had seen God do the most wonderful miracles. I will tell you more about those miracles one day. He had an evil enemy, a woman called Jezebel. She was the powerful wife of King Ahab. Elijah had won many battles against Jezebel and her wicked priests who worshipped Baal, a demon god. Elijah had made them look fools, and had even caused the deaths of the prophets of Baal. Elijah had prayed for God to send fire down on the altar of sacrifice, and fire had come down from heaven! Elijah had seen God bring a great drought (no rain) and a famine (hardly any food) to punish Israel. He had prayed such powerful prayers that the Lord had caused rain to come just because Elijah prayed. What a mighty man of God was Elijah!

 When Elijah had been without food God had sent ravens to feed him! He had camped beside a little brook named Cherith. And every day the shiny black birds would bring him food, because God sent them to him. There were many other wonderful things that Elijah had seen God do. But when his battles with Jezebel the wicked queen were almost over, suddenly Elijah got the blues! Jezebel had sent a messenger to him saying that she would kill him the next day. So brave, strong Elijah ran off. Oh dear, he got so sad and depressed. He went out where there were no people, and sat down under a juniper tree and asked God to let him die.

Poor Elijah, when he had won such great battles, now he was letting himself get down. Did God just let him stew in his own misery? No, He knew that Elijah was tired and was just a human being like us. So God sent an angel to him  who said to him, “arise and eat.” Elijah needed food, and rest and some fresh water to drink. The angel had prepared a cake for Elijah on a little fire, and there was water for him too. And when he had refreshed himself, he was ready to go on again. The angel said, “the journey is too great for thee.” (I Kings 19:1-8). Elijah has worn himself out travelling.

Maybe when you get the blues all you need is proper rest, food and a nice drink, and to be still awhile. God understands when we are sad and feel like everything is going wrong. He knows that you are just a little person who is not always brave and strong. When you have the blues God will help you too, just like He helped Elijah. You can find spiritual food from God in His Word, and this will refresh you too.
Psalm 23 is a lovely Psalm to read when you are feeling sad and low:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (go without).
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters,
He restoreth my soul (makes me refreshed inside myself)...
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell (live) in the house of the Lord forever.”

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