Forty-two months now that our adoption dossier has been in Ethiopia. Forty-two months of waiting. And the news doesn’t look great from Ethiopia–word of political instability, government staff changes, training of the new government staff causing delays in paperwork.
What do you do when you know you’ve been called to do something but things just seem bleak?
You remember what you can’t see.
When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha,” 2 Kings 6:15-17.
Elisha knew. He knew those with him were more than those with them because he had a host of angels with him, an army of God. And then Elisha did something to help the servant’s faith. He asked God to open the servant’s eyes and show him what Elisha could see–God’s hand at work. And when God opened the servant’s eyes, he saw the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The word fire is translated from the Hebrew word esh. This is the same word for fire used in Genesis 15:17 when the Lord makes the covenant with Abraham. And in Genesis 22:6 when Abraham and Isaac ascend Mt. Moriah. Over and over again in Scripture we see God’s presence in the form of fire. When God opened the eyes of the servant, He could see God’s presence. God’s army had been there all along, but he couldn’t see.
Abraham, a childless man, couldn’t see how God would make him the father of nations. He had to wait 25 years after God’s promise for a son. And then he had to trust when God asked Him to sacrifice that son. I wonder what it would have been like on that dark night when the smoking fire pot moved among the sacrifices. I wonder what Abraham and Isaac felt as they climbed the mountain with wood and fire but no lamb. I wonder if that servant’s jaw dropped when he saw a mountain teeming with angels and chariots ablaze at the command of God Almighty.
I love candles, and I light one in the morning while I read my Bible and pray with my prayer journal. When circumstances seem confusing and the wait grows weary, that little flickering flame reminds me of what I can’t see. God at work–ahead, behind, all around, hemming me in. He surrounds me, so I keep praying.
Psalm 34:7 – “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”
Psalm 89:8 – “O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?”
Psalm 139:5 – “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon.”