II Kings 10-11
Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, “You will certainly recover, but the Lord has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. The the man of God began to weep. NIV
This morning, I began to worry. I’ve been working my way through the listings of the word “fear” in my King James concordance, and the end of that list is in sight. But, I’ve found only 201 reminders not to worry … 164 short of my goal. While I haven’t counted how many “fear nots” are left, I can see that there are less than 164 remaining.
Certainly, fear is not the only synonym for worry, so, I think I’ll leave the fear list for a while and explore some other avenues to find reminders.
I went back to Bible Gateway.com, where I plugged in “worry,” and asked the computer to search The Message. In that translation, verse 10 reads, “Elisha answered, ‘Go and tell him, “Don’t worry, you’ll live.” The fact is though — God showed me — that he’s doomed to die.'” MSG
This is a pretty interesting story. Elisha is a prophet who is clearly in close communion with God. He’s been able to raise people from the dead, and he can see the future.
He can see the future …
Earlier in this chapter, the Bible tells us that the King of Aram is ill. When the King hears that Elisha is near, he sends Hazael with gifts for the prophet and he tells him to find out if the king will recover from the illness.
Hazael does as he is told, and that brings us to today’s reminder.
When I first read this verse, I was confused … I didn’t remember the end of the story, and, without that, this first verse makes no sense. Bottom line — the illness doesn’t kill the king — Hazael does. He smothers him with a wet blanket. Then Hazael becomes King.
This takes me back to verse 11. Elisha wept, because, we learn in verse 12, while he is gazing at Hazael, God shows him what Hazael will do. Apparently, he will be a very destructive King, and this saddens Elisha greatly.
He can see the future — good and bad — and it upsets him.
I’ve learned that my desire to see — and not just to see but also to control — the future, was at the heart of my worry problem. As I’ve worked through this study, day by day, I am in awe of the wisdom of how God has set this up. My life unfolds for me moment by precious moment. I don’t know what’s around the next corner, and, as I’ve learned to trust God, I find that I don’t need to.
I’ve always felt that people in general, have one of three life orientations:
- They look back — “remember when we used to …”
- They look to the future — “I can’t wait until we …”
- Or, they live in the moment — “Look at that sunrise!”
Before I began this project, I prided myself in my forward looking approach. I thought that those who looked back were missing the point and that those who lived in the moment were unfocused.
I’ve been humbled by this process. I was wrong. Living in the moment is a glorious, wonderful experience. One that I could not have appreciated without everything that has happened in my life over the last couple of years.
I don’t want to see the future anymore. It is likely that it would just upset me.
I’m delighted in this moment, on this gorgeous, cool morning, with a splendid cup of coffee.
That’s what I’ll think about today.