The air crackled with shekinah glory. The faint scent of frankincense spun through the whirlwind. A fiery chariot rumbled behind a pair of flaming steeds, burning an image in Elisha’s brain he would never forget as he watched Elijah depart. Depart, because, like Enoch, Elijah didn’t die. One minute, Elijah walked beside his successor. The next, he was gone, leaving Elisha with a bitter grief, an ownerless cloak, and a new calling.
Now, Elisha’s turn had come. Having inherited a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, surely his departure would be even more spectacular.
Except it wasn’t.
He got sick. And died.
“Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died.” (2 Kings 13:14 NIV)
I have a list in my prayer journal of dear friends struggling with illnesses.
And I blink my eyes, throw up my hands, and ask why? Because somewhere the lie has crept in that spiritual brownie points give us immunity from the hell of a fallen world.
My own spiritual insecurity drives my search for a bar that tells me I’m doing okay and that God loves me.
Yet I get a check in my spirit every time I chase an “experience” of God.
Habakkuk tells us “the righteous will live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4) And the righteous still do. Faith that trusts God’s word:
- “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
- “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3)
- “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
- “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35)
Why does God chart the paths He does? Only He knows, but His word declares He loves us deeply.
In spite of our sin.
In spite of the fallen world.
In spite of sickness and death.
So when Elijah greeted Elisha in heaven with a “What took you so long?”, Elisha just grinned, happy to be there, even without the chariot ride.
Workout of the Week: Faith, Not Immunity
Memory Verse: “Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died.” 2 Kings 13:14
Meditation Passage: 2 Kings 2:7-15
Just Do It: Believe what He says.