Have you ever been on overload, and wanted to run way? Or, have you ever felt abandoned, even by God? Have you ever had a hard time finding God’s direction? If so, the story of Elijah as recorded in I Kings 19:9-18 may have a word for you.
With the news about the death to apparent suicide of ultra-talented comedian and actor Robin Williams, it is a timely text. It is ironic that someone who brought smiles and laughter to so many of our lives would struggle with depression. But it was so. And he is not the only one.
Depression is woven into our lives, and affects so many people, maybe all of us, from time to time. It is the painful underbelly of our achievement-driven, information-saturated culture that our deepest hurts and fears often go unexpressed, and that we sometimes suffer in silence. Lord, have mercy upon us.
As one who has experienced the aftermath of suicide of those I love, my paternal grandfather and a close ministry colleague, my heart aches for Robin’s family and for him and his suffering. But even in the valley of the shadow, they are not alone. Neither are we. Elijah felt alone. But God’s still small voice spoke to him.
We do not know what all Elijah heard. But we do know that God not only was with him, but had work for him to do. We know also that God assured him there were seven thousand people who would stand and serve with him. In the times of our silent suffering and that of others, may we know that God is with us, and for us, and that so are the people of God. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.