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What Shall We Do?

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city.  “Oh no, my Lord!  What shall we do?” the servant asked.  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered.  “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.”  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV)

What shall we do?  This is a question most of us have asked, or will ask, at some point in our lives.  The same question was asked in today’s reading.  Elisha remained calm, relaxed and confident, not in himself, of course, but in His God.  In verses 16-17 we learn about how Elisha dealt with his servant’s panic.  We can connect with the Scripture by applying it to our lives or to help others dealing with the adverse circumstances of life.

Elisha responds by offering a word of encouragement: “Don’t be afraid.”  His servant had allowed fear to grip his heart.  He had already witnessed a menu of miracles performed by God through the hand of Elisha, yet still he was afraid because he was processing the events through the eyes on his head and not the eyes of faith.  Elisha responds by helping his servant get the correct focus: “… for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  God’s innumerable angels allying with Elisha and his servant outnumber the enemy.  Elisha responds by prayer for the servant’s illumination.  The servant was focused on the visible when he needed to see the invisible.  God opened the eyes of the servant to see the spiritual reality: the hills were full of fiery holy angels ready to protect Elisha.

Perhaps, like Elisha’s servant, we only see the problems.  We feel alone.  We cry out in despair, “What shall we do?”  I know how easy it is to be overwhelmed by fear and worry when faced with difficult situations, but we need to remember that, like Elisha’s servant, we don’t see the whole picture.  We can become so focused on the issue at hand that we lose sight of the fact that we are surrounded by the favour of God, by the grace of God and that God is at work in the midst of our situation.  The Psalmist of Psalm 27 knew this well.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defence of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;~
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.  Psalm 27:1-3 (NKJV)

Remember this: the Lord outnumbers any of the dangers surrounding you, all of the fears within you and whatever makes you worry.  The church is not in defeat and it should not be in retreat.  Our God is greater.  Our God is stronger.