Two shoe salesmen board a ship to a far away island looking to develop new business. Once they dock, they hurry onto the island knowing the other is competing for the same business. Immediately they look at the islanders and both call their home offices. The first guy said “OMG no one on the island wears shoes. They are all barefoot. There is no business potential here.” The other calls excitedly, and in fact, his boss tells him to slow down and take a deep breath. “OMG no one on the island wears shoes. They are all barefoot. There is business potential here.” It’s all about perspective isn’t it?
“So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city. When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” — 2 Kings 6:14-17
The Aramean army was in hot pursuit of capturing Elisha and had him surrounded and outnumbered. However, Elisha’s response was not a call to fight but a calm response of “Don’t worry.” He knew that fear can blind, tie, and deceive into thinking and acting in ways of being afraid but it is a profound faith that understands the resources that God can bring to bear in our lives as we face opposition and crisis. You see Elisha thought differently because he knew that provision is often tied to perspective.
God often hides my provision in plain sight so we seek Him
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Elisha was perfectly calm and his servant was a mess simply because of what they could and couldn’t see. Elisha’s prayer that God might open the eyes of his servant was a prayer of spiritual discernment.
- The blindness of Eli was symbolic of his lack of spiritual understanding that showed up in his wayward sons (1 Samuel 2).
- Jeremiah accused the people of his day of spiritual blindness. (Jer 5:21)
- Jesus chided his disciples for their lack of spiritual awareness: “You have eyes but you do not see.” (Mark 8:14-21).
I think so often God hides my provision in plain sight so I will seek Him. And I think that’s what Elisha is asking God to do for this man. Man’s view is not God’s power and so often I have trouble seeing beyond my adversity to the resources God can provide me.
It’s not a question of what I don’t have or what am I missing in my current circumstance, desert, or failure, but rather, what am I not seeing? Father give me your perspective and faith to see what to do now.
How can your perspective change by seeing your circumstance thru God’s lens?