God took care of Elijah’s physical needs. He made the prophet eat, drink, and rest. Invariably, when we talk to someone who is depressed, he is physically and emotionally exhausted. He needs some rest; he needs some tender, loving care. Second, God dealt with Elijah gently. God did not give up on this servant because of this one lapse. God did not berate him or belittle him. Rather, God caringly led him back to a place of usefulness. We must understand that God is a God of love. He is on our side (Romans 8:31). He wants to save us (2 Peter 3:9). When we go away, He tenderly does all He can to bring us back (Psalms 23:3,5; Luke 15:4-6). If we will repent, He receives us back with open arms (Luke 15:20). When we are dealing with those who are discouraged, let it be with compassion and gentleness.

Third, He gave Elijah work to do. God was telling Elijah that his life was not over: “You still have meaningful work to do. It will not be the same work. (Our work changes as time goes on; our capabilities change.) However, it will be important work. There may not be another showdown on Mount Carmel, but there will still be dramatic moments. You will still serve as Ahab’s conscience. There will even be more fire from heaven.” As we shall see, God also planned for Elijah to be involved in the important work of training young prophets! God was saying, in effect, “I will not lay you on a shelf because of this lapse. You are still a valued servant!” If we find ourselves in the dumps, maybe the way out is to find something to do, especially something that will bless another life. If you are trying to help others with emotional problems, help them find purpose in their lives.

God gave Elijah a friend and companion (v19-21). Elijah got out of the dark cave and went to do God’s bidding. He had “jumped the tracks,” but God put him back on track! Elijah found Elisha. Elijah was a wild man; Elisha was a farmer. God can use a variety of personalities and talents if the individuals are dedicated to Him! Elisha followed Elijah “and ministered unto him” (v. 21). Elisha supplied what Elijah needed. We all need friends!

It is not at Mount Carmel, the mountain of victory, that we find out what we are made of, but at Mount Sinai, the mountain of loneliness— when things have not turned out as we thought they would, when things are not as we hoped they would be. If we find ourselves there, we need first to check our relationship with the Lord. Maybe, like Elijah, we took off running in the direction that we wanted to go without waiting for “the word of the Lord.” Maybe we need to read our Bibles to find out what that word is, then return to Him. Where are you today? If you find yourself in the cave of self-pity, turn to the Lord and trust in Him! Get out of that cave! Leave Mount Sinai and come to Mount Calvary.

Word Affirmation: “ And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you." - Joel 2:25 (Don't just say it, mean it!)

“ It is not at Mount Carmel, the mountain of victory, that we find out what we are made of, but at Mount Sinai, the mountain of loneliness. "