Scripture Study: 1 Kings 19:1-21
I’m not sure how my words will find you when you read them, but I pray that they find you well and bring you hope and perspective.
Don’t we all seek shelter when the thunder, lightning, and storms of life are upon us, and don’t we all seek covering when it begins to rain? We seek our raincoats, we seek our umbrellas, we seek our shelter and places of safety. You see, God doesn’t need an umbrella or a raincoat; He doesn’t need a building nor a dwelling place to be our covering, because the presence of His shadow can be our covering, even when the storms of life are upon us.
You see, Elijah’s fear led him to the secret place of the Most High God, and what He found beneath the juniper tree would sustain and strengthen him for his journey. “He [laid] down and slept under the juniper tree, and behold, an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Get up and eat.’ He looked, and by his head there was a bread cake baked on hot coal, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank and [laid] down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up, and eat, for the journey is too long for you [without adequate sustenance].’ So he got up and ate and drank, and with the strength of that food he traveled forty days and nights to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God” (1 Kings 19:5-8 AMP).
You see, the hurting, broken, and depressed need sustenance; they need strength, and they need a touch from God when their journey becomes too much. God can use counseling, He can use medicine, and He can use a support system of wisdom to do all of these things. For He assures us in Psalm 23:2 that we will find rest in green pastures and peace beside the quiet streams.
Dear reader and broken one, do not be afraid of the darkness of your valley, for the Lord’s rod and staff will console and comfort you. I want you to know that He will refresh and restore your soul. This is a promise and guarantee of your Shepherd. You will lack nothing, for He, the Lord, is your Shepherd. So, trust in Him, and be of great confidence, because He is someone who you truly can rely on. There is security in Him and safety in His dwelling place. For the one “who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]” (Psalm 91:1 AMP).
I thought this would be a great opportunity to share some information concerning mental health and why there shouldn’t be a stigma, because knowledge is power, and we shouldn’t be afraid to use it.
“Depression can cause a range of symptoms, including cognitive changes that people commonly refer to as brain fog. These symptoms often occur during depressive episodes, but they can develop before these episodes begin and continue during remission.”
“According to some estimates, the prevalence of cognitive symptoms in people with MDD is 85–94% during depressive episodes and 39–44% during periods of remission. Cognitive problems, especially difficulty thinking, making decisions, and concentrating, feature as hallmarks of depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).”
“Ultimately, depression seems to involve a dysregulation of the neural networks in critical brain regions, including the: hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, basal ganglia.”
“Neural disruptions that relate to depression appear to cause or worsen cognitive symptoms by reducing the brain’s gray matter volume and white matter connectivity. Gray matter is an important part of the nervous system that plays a role in both sensory perception and muscle control. White matter serves to link and connect the gray matter.”
“Anyone can experience depression and related brain fog at any age, though it usually begins in adulthood. Researchers think that depression develops due to a combination of genetic, environmental, physiological, and biological factors.”
“Common risk factors for depression currently include: personal or family history of depression, trauma, substantial or chronic stress, major life changes, chronic or disabling physical or mental illness, certain medications” (Medical Health News, Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., CRNP — Written by Jennifer Huizen).
Dear reader, may the wisdom of the Lord be your covering, and may His wise counsel strengthen, sustain, and encourage you. A covering is something “used to cover something else, typically in order to protect or conceal it.” God used the juniper tree to cover Elijah, and underneath its shade, the presence of God’s shadow became Elijah’s dwelling place. May you know the covering of the Lord, and the comfort of His shadow.
I pray and hope that you will continue to read the written content and stay connected with us over the next few weeks.
My dear reader, God is not removed. Know that it’s OK to seek His shelter from your storm and allow yourself to be guided by His wise counsel.
Blessings and favor to you until next time and until we meet again. ❤️🙏🏿
Share your story and prayer requests at SenecaHoward.com/contact, and our team will be sure to keep you lifted in our prayers.
P.S., Yours Truly,
The Writer Seneca Howard
About Seneca Howard
Seneca Howard is a pastor, author, mentor, and motivational speaker who inspires the lives of others through crisis ministry, counsel, and personal development.