2 Kings 12:17-21, 13:1-25
2 Chronicles 24:23-27
2 Kings 13: 14-19, “Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. ‘My father! My father!’ he cried. ‘The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ Elisha said, ‘Get a bow and some arrows,’ and he did so. … Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. ‘Open the east window,’ he said, and … ‘Shoot! … The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!’ … Then he said, ‘Take the arrows, … Strike the ground.’ He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’”
As we go about living our everyday lives, we can forget how quickly time passes. Suddenly, the kids are going off to college, getting married, and becoming parents themselves. As time passes, we have to say goodbye to people who we imagined would always be there. In these crucial phases of life, we often recognize all-important words or lessons we need to say.
Perhaps this is what Elisha sensed as he spoke his last prophecy to Israel’s king, Jehoash. Elisha had tried for so long to get through to him what God wanted to say. This last visit to Elisha tells us that the king’s heart had finally been moved by the ailing prophet. We see that he intends to hear and follow Elisha’s instructions as he sensed the limited time Elisha felt he had. Jehoash seemingly understood, and then, just like that, he fell short in completing the instructions.
There are times when we may feel like Elisha — trying so hard to convey a message that desperately needs to be heard, but the words don’t seem to get through. There are also times we may feel like the student who stops just short of realizing God’s best for our lives. Don’t stop sharing the lesson with a heart of compassion and passion. And don’t stop being teachable as you always strive for God’s best!
Heavenly Father, I know that time can be fleeting. Help me to remain focused on You and following the path that You have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.