Take Care of Your Physical Needs
The first remedy is, take care of your physical needs. We read that Elijah stretched out under a tree and fell asleep. “All at once an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again” (1 Kings 19:5–6).
Then the angel came to him a second time and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you” (v. 7). So he ate and drank and was strengthened by that food.
God’s initial remedy for Elijah’s depression was food, drink, and relaxation. Sometimes a good night’s sleep does wonders for your attitude. When you are physically tired and mentally drained, you’re prone to depression. Notice how tenderly God dealt with Elijah. God did not scold him by saying, “You coward! What are you doing here in the desert?” God didn’t put him down or condemn him; all God did was give him food and rest. God physically restored Elijah. That was the starting point. If you are depressed, the first step toward recovery is to get in shape physically. Take care of your health needs. Maybe you need to watch your diet, or perhaps you need to get more sleep or begin an exercise program. Physical health has a profound influence on your moods.
Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008).
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