Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Even without the details we can still believe

Can you imagine losing your best friend? Your mentor? The one person who walked with you and gave encouragement while cheering you onward? Many know the depth of this pain. Elisha knew this pain as well. It was a pain that was very real to him. His walk with Elijah had come to an end when the God took him up to heaven in a whirlwind of fire, carried by a chariot. For me, I am not so sure what would have been cooler. To be Elijah experiencing this miracle or Elisha watching it happen. Nevertheless, Elisha was now without his best friend. What of their talks? The walks they shared? You know, Elisha, had an empty place in his heart. I can imagine he felt lonely on days when he saw others walking with their friends or when he had a question about what to do. Where would he turn now?

When Elisha and Elijah took their last walk together, Elisha says to Elijah several times, "As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." He knew what was getting ready to happen, he just didn't know the details. Do you ever wish to know the details of what is about to happen to you today? Do you think it would help or hinder your thoughts? Elisha was about to see God do some of His best work.

You know, Elisha's faith had to be tremendous! Elijah was his mentor who taught him to have faith and to believe in the God who would provide him a double portion. (2 Kings 2:9-10) God had great plans for Elisha. One of them was to meet the Shunammite woman. (2 Kings 4:8:37) This is what I am going to focus on today.

Now, we have this woman and her husband. They are very compassionate people. They see that Elisha travels into their town often and they want to open up their home to him. That is exactly what they do. Hospitality at it's best. Elisha, grateful for all they have done for him asks if there is anything he can do for them. This couple is without a child in their home. (2 Kings 4:14) Elisha tells her that this time next year she would have a son. ( 2 Kings 4:16)

Elisha goes about his business and within the next year she gives birth to a son. (2 Kings 4:17) Now the child has grown and he is going out to the fields with his father. All of a sudden his head his hurting. The servant carries him to his mother ( 2 Kings 4:19) and he dies with her at his side. Can you feel this woman's pain? Can you see her shaking in fear over the loss of the child God provided? Her pain is deep and real. A pain no mother wants to bear. But here, this mother is having a day she never dreamed of happening.

This distraught mother asks for a young man and a donkey so she can go in search of Elisha. (2 Kings 4:22-26)  Wouldn't you go for him? Wouldn't you go to any means possible for your child? She knows Elisha is a man of God. She knows of his great faith. This too means she has great faith. She knows of the God who Elisha worships.

He sees her coming. They speak and as a servant of Elisha's tries to move her away from him, he tells him to stop. The Lord has not filled Elisha in with all the details. He has no idea that her son is dead. (2 Kings 4:27)

Elisha begins to tell his servant to go with her, but this is not what she wants. She repeats the same words, Elisha had once said to Elijah many times. "As the Lord lives, ans as your soul lives, I will not leave you." (2 Kings 4:30) Do you think at this time everything comes rushing back to Elisha? Does he now remember the pain he felt that day? The details he did not know? Through the pain that Elisha knew so well he was now able to help this woman. He showed her compassion and he was willing to drop everything and go with her. I wonder if they talked on the way back to the house. Maybe they were in silent prayer. Whatever was happening, one thing is for sure. God was in control this day just as He was the day Elijah left on that chariot. The details don't matter much when you have a God who knows what is about to happen before you do. He is already there!

He goes into the room and stays with the child. In fact, he lays upon him, with his mouth upon his mouth and his eyes upon his eyes. (2 Kings 4:33-34) He too had seen Elijah do this very same thing. Hey if it works the first time you can be pretty sure it will work again. (1 Kings 17:17-24)

The child wakes and the woman is filled with gratitude. Can you imagine her overwhelming heart of thanks for this precious child the Lord had blessed her with and now has brought him back to her again? Oh, I see the tears of joy on her face. I can imagine her son asking, "What happened mom? What are you so emotional about?"

Elisha was blessed with that double portion. He was blessed to walk with his mentor. The man who came before him to teach him about faith. To show him God's ways and all He was preparing for him. What we have to remember is, God is always and forever in control. He isn't going to leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) Even when we don't know the details we can still believe.

The trials that come into our life are not without reason. Sure, we might not understand the rhyme and reason to it all, but we have a God who sees beyond what our eyes can see. Our faith will not grow unless we see God move on our behalf. I have seen Him do great and mighty things in my life. Things I have never dreamed of happening. I don't know the details of what tomorrow holds, but one thing is for sure. I know God is already there. He is preparing me for every step. There isn't a stone that goes unturned in my life that He doesn't first know about. So, don't get all caught up in the details and trying to figure it all out.

God has a plan. (Jeremiah 29:11-12) The very occurrences that touch your life today will give you great compassion for those who will later feel those same tears and be filled with those same worries. What has touched your life yesterday will tomorrow touch another. Your faith can bring faith to another. What Elisha learned from Elijah, he was able to pass on to others. A great faith in God even when the details are not revealed.

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:6

"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
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