Elisha was on his way home after having cleansed the waters of Jericho. We find this incident recorded in 2 Kings 2:23-24. Most of us are quite vulnerable in the wake of successes like that. No wonder perhaps that Elisha then ran into a bunch of children who teased and mocked him. Those voices that we hear either in our heads or come from others are frequently quite childish in their approach, but nevertheless they sting and often hit home, that is, they reveal those areas where the truth still haven’t been established as an incontestable fact in our lives.
Many of us believe the lies the Devil has sold us about ourselves. We think we are found wanting; that there are areas of our lives that need a fix. We demote our tendencies, inclinations, doings and so forth as not Christ like. The plain truth is, however, that in Christ we have been released from all that. What we need is a renewal of the mind so that we can grasp who we are in Christ. Our imagined failings are residues of the thinking patterns we were so accustomed to when we ate from the tree to knowledge of good and evil.
It is in those times of afflictions God wants us to understand that we are not alone and that we are perfected in Christ. We are made whole once and for all. He is walking in the midst of our being when those voices come against us. Since Christ is in us, it is not only we, but also He that is under accusation. I am the first to admit that I think in terms of separation when those instances occur. I see myself as a lone island, left on my own to face the enemy’s fierce attacks on my faith.
However, that is not the truth. Christ in me is going through the same sufferings as I do. His invitation stands firm in the midst of the storm; “Come and take my yoke upon you.” That’s a magnificent image of the union life. Jesus carries the main burden in our union with Him. When He says that His yoke is easy it is on account of that our role is quite simply to rest in Him.
Our work is hence basically to leave the whole affair to God and watch Him rescue us. Elisha learned this secret through this incident. When he understood what was going on He called on two bears which efficiently killed those voices that haunted him. This was His testing time and He came out fixed in the union life, and his ministry soared with the most astounding miracles after He had been settled in who he was in God.
Since there is no separation in God and He is encountering the same problems as we do it should be quite clear that He is the one that has designed those things we face. If we say He has merely allowed them He is rendered in our consciousnesses as a passive spectator. That is not the case. He never slumbers nor sleeps, and His activity is not to our destruction, even though it sometimes feels that way. Of course He wants to shatter our illusion of independent-self, but the goal is to see us irrevocably fixed in the union with Him. Through all this He proves Himself to us as our total adequacy.