«But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said. ‘It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life for I am no better than my fathers!’ ( l Kings 19: 4)
Chapters 17 and 18 of the first book of Kings contain an abundant record of impressive miracles where Elijah is the hero: a) by divine guidance, he goes to the brook of Cherith where there is enough water, and food is miraculously delivered by ravens; b) he gets co see through a miracle, together with the widow of Zarephath and her son, how portions of oil and flour become inexhaustible; c) he prays to Godto revive the widow’s son and God brings him back to life; d) he raises his voice in prayer and a blazing fire falls from heaven to burn the sacrificed ox, thus proving God’s power over Baal; e) he prays for the end of the three-and-a-half-year drought and it suddenly rains.
Nevertheless, the prophet crumbles when he hears that the evil Jezebel wants to kill him. It is interesting that, after numerous supernatural manifestations, Elijah goes into despair, runs to Beersheba terrified, and from there walks a day’s journey into the desert and exclaims: «Lord, take my life.» Thoughts of death are common for depressive people and suicide is sometimes committed. Elijah’s experience shows that desperate situations are experienced by many people. Depression is at times so psychologically painful that some prefer death rather than their extreme suffering.
Once more, we see the warm touch of the loving Lord upon Elijah. After hearing his plea for death, God leads the prophet to complete healing, through His angel that provides him food, rest, exercise and divine messages. The climax is in his direct encounter with God who reveals Himself co Elijah in «a still small voice» (v. 12). It is understandable chat any fear, anxiety, doubt, sadness or despair the prophet might have experienced Promptly disappeared due to the presence of the Creator. The Lord did not answer Elijah’s prayer when he pleaded, «take my life.» On the contrary, He kept him alive andgranted him the privilege of ascending to heaven without seeing death (2 Kings 2:11).
If you ever experience despair, think about Elijah. Indeed, he had to endure emotional distress, but God pulled him out of chat abyss and took him to heaven. God loves you as much as He loved Elijah, and He also offers you a solution to your problems and the gift of eternal salvation if you are ready to accept Him as your Lord and Savior.