I have a brother-in-law, Tim Barton, who preaches and ministers at the Canby Alliance Church in Canby, Oregon (www.canbyalliance.org). He sends out his sermon notes every week. This week he’s beginning sermons on mental health. Good stuff. Here is quote from part of his sermon that I pulled out regarding a prophet from the Old Testament who struggled with debilitating mental health issues.
Remember, Elijah had run away from his calling. Deserted the people God sent him to. God’s grace covered his failure. God hadn’t given up on Elijah even though Elijah had given up on himself. Phil Ryken, “His life still had a kingdom purpose. So does ours: not matter how discouraged we are today, God still has a bright plan for our tomorrow.”
Last thought – Elijah’s tree and Jesus’ cross.
Over 100 years ago the German preacher F. W. Krummacher compared Elijah’s broom tree to the cross where Jesus died. I end with his eloquent, insightful, and encouraging words, “Listen. As often as it will seem to you as if it were enough, as if the burden of life is no longer to be borne, do as Elijah did. Flee, you, too to the silence of solitude, and I will show you a tree, and there you will cast yourself down. It is the cross. Yes, a tree covered with thorns and barbs that pierce the soul, girded about with nails that wound the heart and cause pain and suffering. But this tree also has a scent that refreshes the soul. In the presence of the cross you no longer think of complaining about the greatness of your sufferings. For the love of God in Jesus Christ for you poor sinner will soon draw all your thoughts and reflections away from everything else. Under the cross our complaining will soon be absorbed in the peace of the Lord.”