THE ONE AND ONLY…….Read 2 Kings chapter 2

I love the story of Elijah’s last days on earth. He’s, of course, one of the great prophets of the Lord in the Old Testament. He’s also, along with Moses, on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, talking with Him and encouraging Him, as witnessed by the Apostles Peter, James and John. And here in chapter 2 of 2 Kings we have the last days of Elijah on earth. Elijah and his chosen successor, Elisha, were traveling from Gilgal, a small town in Israel –but where big things happened. In Joshua 5 we read that it was here that the people of Israel renewed their covenant promises with the Lord; and where, in 1st Samuel 11, that last of the judges, named Samuel, anointed Saul the first King of Israel. Elijah is on his way to another important town, Bethel, and tells Elisha to stay behind here in Gilgal. But Elisha knows, he’s been told by that group from Bethel called the ‘company of the prophets’ that Elijah is on borrowed time, and on top of that that the Lord would take him home this very day. Elisha is just brokenhearted. He’s grieving in anticipation of the departure of his dear mentor and friend, whose more like a father to him. He just can’t accept it. And, no, he will not stay behind when Elijah moves on. No, he’s made it perfectly clear that he’s not budging, he’s staying with him as long as possible, until the end and hanging on for dear life– even then. ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ Sounds like that gospel song that sings ‘I shall not be, I shall not be moved’. That ‘company of the prophets’ keeps repeating what Elisha does not want to hear–‘do you not know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?’ And Elisha shouts back at them to shut them up–‘yes, I know, but do not speak of it.’ I wonder if Elisha is just feeling that if they just don’t talk about it maybe it’s all a bad dream and nothing will really come of it. Don’t say another word! Keep quiet! You know what it’s like to just want to hear nothing more about, well, whatever has torn your heart to pieces. To talk about what keeps going around and around inside your heart and emotions; to talk about it with someone else, even someone you love and trust, it’s just too much. You’re having a hard time letting go. Too painful…too difficult…too unbelievable. You know the feeling. You remember going through such a time? Maybe this is such a time, now. So, listen then for a moment longer. Elijah lets Elisha go with him, express what’s on his heart–his incredulity and horror at what’s coming. He doesn’t scold his friend, he doesn’t belittle him or make him feel guilty like he’s a second-class spiritual failure. No, he lets him be. He lets him work it through. He stays with him until…Well, that’s more for next time! But, today, think about letting someone else just feel what they’re feeling, staying with them, not analyzing them or berating them…but being with them as they, through the help of the Holy Spirit, work through a difficult letting go in their lives. How many times has that happened in my life? Just one or two fingers on one hand. Not often at all…but maybe, just maybe, I can be a good friend to someone else today. And you too? Could make all the difference for someone else…

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