When I had my recent operation, the lovely Mr Pamsperambulation, not only took me to the hospital, but waited with me as the time approached to go down to the theatre. Several times I said to him, “You can go home if you like, I’ll be fine”, but he persisted and stayed and kept me company. (Eventually I was waiting that long that he did have to go, but the intention was there.) He didn’t want me to face what was about to happen on my own, and was a faithful and committed partner in the waiting.
As Elijah is about to be taken up to heaven, three times he offers Elisha the opportunity to go no further,
Stay here, the Lord has sent me…
to the various stages along the journey.
Each time, Elisha replies:
As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you
and they journeyed on together.
Elisha was not easily going to put off, he was in this journey and relationship with Elijah for the long haul – he would go with him right to the end.
Reading this passage brought to my mind the final few days of Jesus life – as the disciples, who had promised to go all the way with Jesus, struggled to stay awake to support him, betrayed him to his enemies, and denied they even knew him. They were not always so keen to take the next step of commitment and journey with Jesus.
It was because of Elisha’s willingness to keep going with Elijah on the each step of his journey, and being there at the end that led to him being able to receiving the same power that Elijah had.
This story is a challenge to me.
God doesn’t force us to come with him. At any point, we have an opportunity to say, ‘This far and no further’ – but if we do, how much we might miss out on…
So, the choice: we can stay here, where we are, and miss God’s blessing
we can go onwards, take the next step with God, and receive all he has to give us.
What will your choice be?
you offer me so much,
but never force me.
The choice to come further with you
May I have
to follow you each step of the journey,
to not be put off
that I may receive
all you have to give me.