Comfort in Discomfort
Manuary 4, 2015
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” 2 Kings 2:2b (ESV) I wonder you many things, situations, or people we’ve left to avoid discomfort? I wonder how many times, if we would have stayed, our discomfort would have lead to something greater? I wonder if comfort has caused us to miss out on a lot of blessings, or even destiny, for our lives?
In this story I just quoted from, Elisha is about to succeed his mentor Elijah. But he has to go through a hard time first. (How often is that the case?) As the Bible puts it, Elijah and Elisha were heading from Gilgal to Bethel, along the way Elijah asks Elisha to stay while he continues. As we read earlier, the Bible says Elisha refuses and continues. Once at Bethel Elijah tells Elisha to stay while he continues on to Jericho. Elisha refuses again and proceeds with Elijah. Once at Jericho Elijah again asks Elisha to stay because he’s gonna go all the way to the Jordan. Of course Elisha refuses and continues. At each stop people were telling Elisha that Elijah was going to be taken from him. To which he responded “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.” In this story you see a sort of farewell tour. Both men know what’s going on, that there is a good-bye in the queue, and discomfort, I imagine, is settling in. Three times, Elisha is given that chance to escape, but instead he continues in the discomfort. Trusting to follow God over desire.
Sometimes it’s hard to be in the right place. Visiting a deathbed isn’t easy, but every sickness needs to be visited. Confronting danger isn’t comfortable, but danger has to be confronted. Saying good-bye is sometimes the hardest thing to do, but good-byes cannot be ignored forever. We can avoid the uncomfortable situations for sure. We can refuse beds of illness with the claim that others are more skilled at the visit than us. We can avoid all kinds of danger by believing that others are more capable in the fight. And we can refuse to say good-bye by refusing to be present in the first place. We can, for sure, stay comfortable in our denial, but comfort isn’t necessarily where we need to be.
Elisha could have chosen to remain somewhat more comfortable. He could have chosen to let Elijah leave him on the road to Bethel. He could have chosen to stay in Bethel and let his mentor leave him for Jericho. He could have stayed in Jericho and let Elijah cross over the Jordan on his own. But if he had, he would have forfeited his destiny. He would have missed out on the next step. It was by deciding to remain in the presence of discomfort that he was given the opportunity to request something greater. It took courage, and it will take courage for us to do the same. But destiny takes courage. What decision will we make? Can we be courageous too? Our destiny is in the decision.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the question asked next of Elisha. Another decision of destiny that would transform his life from ordinary to miraculous.
Have a great day and God bless you,