One of my favorite old testament bible stories is found in 2 Kings 6:8-23. The curtain rises on the king of Syria making war on Israel. However, despite his many tactics to trap them, they manage to out maneuver him because they heed the warning of Elisha who has insight from God into the enemy’s plan. Tension begins to mount because the king of Syria realizes that it is by no coincidence that the Israelites keep circumventing him. He thinks at first that he must have been betrayed by one of his own men, but they are quick to inform him that it is the prophet Elisha who tells the king of Israel even “the words that you speak in your bedroom” (2 Kings 6:12, ESV).
So what happens next? He sends an army in the middle of the night to surround the city of Dothan where Elisha was staying in order to capture him. He must be thinking. Aha! Try to escape now! Elisha’s servant awakes in the morning to see that they are surrounded on every side by a great army. He freaks out and runs to see what Elisha wants to do. Elisha says, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). He then prays over his servant that God would open his eyes and the craziest thing happens. God does it. Cue epic music. The young man’s eyes are opened and he sees chariots of fire filling the mountainside. God sends his angel armies and has the enemy surrounded. What!? Talk about a change in perspective.
This New Year’s day I didn’t have any desire to make a resolution. I knew that after the newness of the year wore off that I would be lucky to even remember what I had promised to do let alone accomplish it. 2014 was a beautiful year but a hard one that left me hopeful and raw all at the same time. It was a year that blew all of my best laid plans out of the water and sucker punched me with many unexpected difficulties. So with that said, I only prayed a simple prayer at the beginning of this year. I prayed that God would renew my sense of perspective again and again and again. I asked that he would remind me that the difficult and mundane parts of my story are wrapped up in his much bigger one.
It does not come naturally and I need him to open my eyes. When Satan taunts me with my past failure, I need him to open my eyes. When life is just hard and the fulfillment of his promises seems delayed, I NEED him to open my eyes to see that, “Because of the Lord’s great love I am not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lam. 3:22, NIV).
So, let’s fight well church and lean into our God’s strength. He has never left us and he never will. He has our enemy surrounded. He will and has won. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16, NIV).