As I’m reading through the opening chapters of Elisha’s story after Elijah rides into heaven on a chariot of fire, I’ve noticed a trend among the stories. I hadn’t ever realized this common theme when I had read these individual stories on their own – especially when I tried to figure out what the floating ax head had to do with anything. But when you read them all together, one thing is very clear:
In the midst of our dark times, God shows up.
The widow was out of money and her sons were about to be taken away as slaves.
God showed up by providing enough oil for her to be able to pay off her debts (2 Kings 4:1-7).
Elisha promised a woman that she would have a son. That son dies at a young age.
God showed up by bringing the boy back to life (2 Kings 4:31-37).
Elisha’s colleagues were accidentally poisoned
God showed up by curing them (2 Kings 4:38-41).
There was a famine in the land.
God showed up by feeding a hundred people with a few loaves of bread (2 Kings 4:42-44).
A man lost the head of a borrowed ax. How could he repay the man in the midst of a famine?
God showed up by causing the ax head to float (2 Kings 6:1-7).
Aramean raiders threatened to destroy cities in Israel.
God showed up by striking them blind and leading them into a trap (2 Kings 6:8-23).
The King of Aram laid siege on Israel’s capital city. The land was thrust into yet another famine.
God showed up by scaring away the enemy and providing for Israel in one single act (2 Kings 6:24-7:20).
God showed up. Over and over and over again, He arrived at just the right time and showed His power in amazing ways. In the midst of people’s darkest hours, God’s light would shine brightly.
The same is true today. In the midst of our darkness, God’s light shines brightest. In the midst of our helplessness and hopelessness and desperation, God shows up at just the right time in just the right way to shine His light the brightest.
I needed to be reminded of that this week. Friends of ours are in the midst of tragedy. And while I still don’t fully understand why horrible events like this are allowed to happen, I believe more than ever that God is right there in the midst of our sorrow, picking up the pieces of our shattered lives and working in ways that only He can so His light can pierce through the darkness.