Second Kings 2 is one of those chapters of the Bible that is simply chock-full of lessons and truths that I could apply daily in my life...
...if I would.
I was reading there again this week, and was struck by verses 9 and 10. "When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, 'Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, 'Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.' He said, 'You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.' " (NASB) My understanding is that Elisha was asking for his spiritual father's blessing, in the same way that the oldest son received a double portion of the inheritance. That practice is described in several places... particularly because God often chose the younger son to receive the double portion of the blessing (i.e. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph), and several commentators remarked that they believed Elisha was refering to a "spiritual blessing" from his "spiritual father."
Elijah responds to Elisha's request by effectively saying "You are asking for a hard blessing... are you sure you understand that for which you are asking?"
Do I have the courage to ask God for His blessing in my life ~ even if it means I'm choosing a harder, more difficult, severe, cruel or grevious (all synonyms according to Strong's Hebrew concordance) way? Can I even imagine or accept that those words might pair up with or be part of God's blessing?
Another verse that uses that same Hebrew word - "You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger." (Psalm 60.3, NIV) Here, it speaks of desperate times where the circumstances the Lord has given His people to drink makes them stagger...
But more encouraging, this word is also cross-referenced to verses where God asks, rhetorically, "Is anything too hard for me?" Thus, if I ever have the courage and faith to truly fervertly ask for, praying like Elisha that the Lord would bless me with hard things, I know I will be able to "walk strong in the Lord and in the power of His might..." and that it is He who carries me through the blessed, difficult, desperate times.
this week's gratitude list ~
(#'s 1604 - 1625)
the challenge to think about the blessing of hard things
finally clean corners in the bedroom
friends for dinner
listening to excited girls talk about their volleyball fun
making garden fresh salsa on November 1
my daddy (his birthday is this week)
"la petite reine de drame" who lives at my house
a "to-do" list that is finally down to one page
no power cuts tonight (thus I was able to complete this blog post!)
after-school study halls
girls working to master multiplication tables
finding the tie for my robe - I thought it was gone for good!
actually having the meal ready on time
birthday dinner for my boy... and scheming and planning together what we're going to do so that his 16th is a special celebration
pumpkin butter recipes
a good back scratch
facebook conversations that leave me laughing
crock pots and irons with steam