Have you every felt worthless? I have. Invisible? Powerless? Insignificant? Overwhelmed by daily responsibilities? I have! All of these are quite common for a widow. The “so called” experts tell us that feelings like these will lessen in time as grief is healed. However, I have found that they often recycle as daily circumstances remind us of what we lack. The negative feelings often surface because we no longer have a “sounding board” or a partner with whom to brainstorm, someone to remind us of good times and past victories, or we fail to consider the promises from God’s Word. Our frustration is much like Elisha’s servant in the Old Testament.
In 2 Kings 6:8-23, the king of Aram was angry because Elisha was telling the king of Israel how, when, and where the king of Aram was going to attack. It’s a fascinating account of how the Holy Spirit gave insight to Elisha. Even the king of Aram’s army knew that Elisha was warning Israel’s king of the battle plans.
The king of Aram discovered where Elisha lived and sent the Aramenan army by night to surround the city of Dothan to capture the man of God. When Elisha’s servant awakened in the morning and saw the army he said, “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” (v. 15). He was sure there was no way of escape.
This is just like us when we face circumstances beyond our control. We wring our hands and cry out, what are we going to do; how are we going to do it; where’s the money going to come from; who is going to help me? We recount all our woes to ourselves and, just like Elisha’s servant, we are sure defeat, bankruptcy, and loss are just around the corner. However, just because we are overwhelmed with feelings of negativity and defeat, doesn’t mean that God has forsaken us or that those feelings are true.
Elisha told his servant, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16). Elisha had not one worry. It’s almost as if I can see him still in bed, and simply telling the servant not to worry as he turned over and tried to go back to sleep. Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” (v. 17). At that very minute the servant’s eyes were opened and he saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire. These were ministering angels who were ready to defend Elisha and his servant. God’s army was in control of the situation.
When we are in the middle of a severe battle – whether it’s physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional – may the Lord open our eyes to see His ministering spirits surrounding us. In one of the darkest times in my life during my husband’s illness, God opened my eyes and allowed me to see His ministering angels around my husband. Even though things were difficult, I knew without a doubt that God was in control.
The apostle Thomas had doubts about Jesus’ resurrection since he knew the brutality of the beatings and the crucifixion. He told the other disciples that he would not believe unless he saw the nail prints in Christ’s hands and the wound in His side. (John 20:24-29). When Jesus appeared again to the disciples, including Thomas, Jesus asked him to touch His scared hands and side. Thomas’ response was one of complete surrender and faith: “My Lord and my God” (v. 28). According to verse 29, Jesus said, “[B]lessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
This is part of faith – believing even when we don’t see the results right away. God has promised that He will be with us, sustain us, meet our needs, and provide protection. He has even promised to be a husband to the widow (Isaiah 54:5). Trusting God’s promises also will bring the joy (Psalm 28:7) and peace (Isaiah 26:3) that we so need when problems arise .