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That Moment When a Hero of the Faith Wanted to Die

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“Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?  … Had I died at birth, I would now be at peace. I would be asleep and at rest.” (Job 3:11, 13 NLT)

Have you ever reached that sort of low—a true despair? It’s often part of the human experience, perhaps part of what makes us long for more than this world has to offer.

You might be surprised to learn that nine different heroes in the Bible, at some point in their lives, wished to die. This list includes Job, Rebecca, Rachel, Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, and Jonah. The good news is that none of them stayed in those pits of despair.

It will be quite a few more chapters until Job finds some relief. In the meantime, his friends will chastise him, tell him he must be in sin, and that God is probably punishing him. None of which are helpful—probably ever—but certainly not in Job’s case, since none of that was even true. In fact, Satan was the one who asked that Job be tested and was behind his misery. In the end, Job endured, wrestled through his difficult trials together with God, and God redeemed his situation.

But I’d like to look at Elijah for a moment, because I think his story gives an accurate picture of how God, our loving Heavenly Father, sees us in those moments. When Elijah hit his lowest point, God treated him with care and kindness.

In 1 Kings 19 we read that God sent an angel who ministered to Elijah by giving him food and drink—after which, Elijah took a much-needed nap. Then the angel told him to get up and get some exercise, to take a long walk that took him to a new place and a fresh perspective. And there, God spoke to him in a gentle whisper, restored his hope, and gave him a plan for the future.

When you face times of depression or despair, be sure that you’re taking care of your physical and mental well-being. Eat something nutritious, stay hydrated, rest properly, get out in nature, be sure to exercise. Look for a new perspective, and above all, be sure to listen for God’s voice. Perhaps He’ll advise and direct you, minister to you supernaturally, or lead you to a wise mentor, a trained counselor, or a doctor to find the healing you need.

God longs to comfort you in your sorrow, minister to you in your brokenness, strengthen you in your weakness, and bring healing to your heart!

I’m going to close this devotional by skipping to today’s New Testament reading. While God does not wish for us as believers to lose heart and hope for death, we also should not fear death. Instead, like Stephen the martyr, we should look forward to eternity in God’s presence with joyful anticipation.

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  … As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. (Acts 7:55, 59-60)

May God fill you with such strength and courage and heal the innermost wounds of your heart. Today, take a moment to share your hurts and sorrows with Him. Receive His comfort—and listen for His gentle whisper to guide you along your way.


Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Dina Sleiman

In addition to being an award-winning Christian novelist, Dina Sleiman takes great pleasure in serving the least of these through her work at Operation Blessing. This wife, mother, and grandmother loves travel, nature, dance, bungee fitness, and—of course—writing.

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