When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, “Alas, my master. What shall we do?” He replied, “Do not be afraid. There are more with us than there are with them.” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant and he saw: the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15-17)
The world can be a scary place.
I know many people who wake, walk out the front door, and feel just like Elisha’s servant. Whether it is our own personal demons and struggles, the burdens of our community, or the seemingly never-ending stream of tragedies that fills our newsfeed. No matter how early we rise, when we walk out the front door, we can feel surrounded – like there is an army encamped against us. We see bullies in our schools, tearing down our children. We dread going into work, knowing we will be screamed at, belittled, and shamed once again. We loath coming home to another argument, another meal eaten alone or in silence.
We can look at the world outside our door or the face in the mirror and echo the words of the servant, “Alas, my master. What shall we do?” 2 Kings 6 tells us that much of the fear we experience is connected with our vision. What we see around and within us causes fear and anxiety. But the man of God has a different vision. He sees the world differently. He is not ignorant of the problems that he faces, but he is able to see the power of God at work.
In our story, Elisha prays that his servant’s eyes would be opened. Once they are opened, he sees a whole new reality. The Aramean army is still there, but now he can see God at work. The power and presence of God surrounds him even as he faces this challenge.
As we face the many aspects of our life that cause us to fear, may God open our eyes to his work as well. May we be granted the vision to see his work even in the midst of adversity. May we know his power and his protection, even when the world seems scary. May we hear God’s voice in the words of Elisha, “Do not be afraid. There are more with us than there are with them.”